Steward Health Care has commitments to continue their Malta-based operations despite an unannounced takeover, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne has said.
Yesterday it was revealed that the ownership of Steward Health Care is changing hands after a group of doctors gained control of the company.
Fearne revealed he was verbally informed by CEO Armin Ernst over the latest developments, but is still seeking a written explanation from the company.
It remains to be seen what the deal could mean for Malta. However, Fearne insisted that commitments should put people’s minds at ease.
Steward operates the Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital. They took over the concession from Vitals Global Healthcare.
The latter was forced to sell off their operations just 21 months in amid growing financial debt, which stood at €36 million by the end of 2017. Its CEO, Ram Tumuluri, still made off with a €5 million bonus.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue threatened to come to a screeching halt after Steward called for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela over the state’s failure to cough up some €18 million in due reimbursements.
Abela has said that discussions on the government’s contract with Steward Healthcare have been placed on the back-burner until the COVID-19 coronavirus situation clears up.
Lovin Malta has reported how Steward was given assurances by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi on the deal when taking over. It has also been revealed that Malta will need to pay a €100 million should the concession be rescinded.
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