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Vitals Left Debts Of €36 Million With New Operators Looking For More Money To Run Hospitals

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Vitals Global Healthcare, the former concessionaire of the three of Malta’s state hospitals, left a debt of €36 million despite operating for less than 21 months.

According to a report by Malta Today, VGH’s annual accounts are set to reveal the massive loss, just as the new concessionaire Steward Global Healthcare is trying to renegotiate its terms with the government.

It was also reported that a new contract was renegotiated over the past few months by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former Minister for Private-Public Partnerships Konrad Mizzi. However, this is under threat after Robert Abela took over as Prime Minister.

It’s claimed that Steward is asking for the transition period from when they must take full control over the hospitals to 2023. Meanwhile, they are also looking to be paid  €4 million to cover salary differences between government and private staff in the hospitals.

The Healthcare provider is also looking to have a greater right to terminate the concession in the case of a national emergency, thereby transferring the debt to the government.

Steward has been the operator of the concession ever since VGH dropped out in December 2017.

VGH was the infamous operator of three state hospitals. The deal itself has always been controversial, given claims that the signing of a memorandum of understanding occurred five months before Projects Malta even issued a public call for proposals.

The concerns were only further compounded once VGH was forced to sell its 30-year concession to manage three state hospitals just 21 months into its operation in 2017.

It has long been reported that VGH was simply financially unable to sustain the project.

PN Leader Adrian Delia published the evaluation report into the deal, which revealed that a person on the three-person panel to assess the agreement was a Nexia BT representative.

The accountancy firm opened up secret offshore companies for Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri; while they have also received millions in direct orders.

A magisterial inquiry into the deal is already underway, while Abela has revealed that a committee has already been appointed to scrutinise the deal.

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