د . إAEDSRر . س

WATCH: Steward Health Care Deal ‘Is Not Working,’ Malta’s Finance Minister Warns

Article Featured Image

Malta’s controversial concession granted to Steward Global Healthcare to help manage three state hospitals is “not working”, Malta’s Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has said.

“Well, the way deal is today – right now it’s not working,” Caruana said in an interview with Lovin Malta.

However, the minister did concede that it is a complex issue with many legal implications. He reiterated that Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne is leading negotiations of the deal.

Vitals Global Healthcare had first been granted a controversial concession for the Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital. Mizzi was the minister responsible for the project.

It has been revealed that the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding months before a request for proposals was even announced.

The company was forced to sell off their operations to Steward Health Care just 21 months after starting amid growing financial debt, which stood at €36 million by the end of 2017. Its CEO, Ram Tumuluri, reportedly still made off with a €5 million bonus.

An un-redacted contract revealed that taxpayers were paying VGH around €188,000 a day (€70 million a year) to provide hospital beds to the state, €1.2 million a year for the Barts medical school and a further €1 million for a helicopter service.

Steward Healthcare was brought in to replace them. They were given certain assurances by the government, namely from former minister Konrad Mizzi and former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat when they were brought in to save the failing concession.

This included a massive €100 million buyout should the concession be rescinded and a secret €8 million bank guarantee (which has since been waived).

The deal has created massive gaps in operations – with Steward staff being paid less than their state counterparts for doing the exact same job. Meanwhile, the government continues to fork out millions for a service that is not too dissimilar from Malta’s.

Should Malta pull the plug on the deal?

READ NEXT: WATCH: Throwing Money At Malta’s Education System Will Not Solve Its Problems, Finance Minister Says

Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

You may also love

View All