Final decision over Vitals Global Healthcare scandal postponed to 24 February

Judge decrees court requires ‘a little more time’ than predicted to conclude and finalise the judgement ‘in view of the complexity and nature of the case’

The final decision in the case filed by former PN leader Adrian Delia over the Vitals Global Healthcare scandal has been adjourned to next month due to the complexity of the case.

Judgement in the case in which the court is being asked to rescind the €60 million hospital concession had been due to continue this morning before Mr. Justice Francesco Depasquale.

However, when the case was called the judge adjourned the case to 24 February, decreeing that “in view of the complexity and nature of the case the court requires a little more time than predicted to conclude and finalise the judgement.”

Three public hospitals had been transferred to Vitals Global Healthcare on concession, however, the obscure company had subsequently failed to live up to its obligations and the concession was eventually transferred to American company Steward Healthcare.

Delia had filed the court case in 2018 in a bid to force the cancellation of the emphyteutical concession agreement on the basis that Vitals and their heirs in title, Steward, had not fulfilled their contractual obligations. Delia also argued the contract itself was vitiated because Vitals had been in talks with the government before the tender process even started.

Witnesses from various government bodies had told the court that nobody had carried out due diligence on the contract because it was “already a done deal,” decided by former minister Chris Cardona and Ram Tumuluri.

Steward had acquired the 30-year concession to run the three state hospitals as a private concern in December 2017 from Vitals Global Healthcare, a then unknown consortium of medical entrepreneurs who had been granted the concession in 2015. But VGH racked up millions in debt with nothing to show for it, eventually negotiating a buy-out of some €15 million from Steward.

Delia had filed the case in his capacity as Opposition leader at the time, against the Prime Minister, VGH, the Attorney General, the CEO of Malta Industrial Parks, and the chairman of the Lands Authority’s board of governors.

Steward Healthcare was later grandfathered into the case, replacing VGH as a defendant.

READ ALSO: Steward Healthcare sued for €2.8 million unpaid brokerage fees over hospitals deal