Adrian Delia invites government MPs to support motion calling for cancellation of hospitals deal

Opposition leader Adrian Delia has called on government MPs to back a parliamentary motion tabled by the Nationalist Party to have the hospitals privatisation deal cancelled

VGH amassed €36 million in debt with nothing to show for it
VGH amassed €36 million in debt with nothing to show for it

Adrian Delia has urged government MPs to “act for Malta” and vote for the Opposition’s motion to have the hospitals privatisation contract cancelled.

The Opposition leader extended the “invitation” to government MPs on Tuesday, two days before the motion is debated in Parliament.

The motion calls for the deal with Steward Health Care to be cancelled and the three hospitals granted on concession be returned to the public. Steward inherited the long-term concession on Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, from Vitals after the latter went belly up.

The Opposition contends that the private operator failed to live up to its commitment to invest millions into state-of-the-art facilities, including a new Gozo hospital, while government had already forked out millions to finance the deal.

MaltaToday had revealed that under the contract, which has not yet been published, Malta could face a €100 million bill should the hospitals concession ever be rescinded.

The newspaper revealed that all debts incurred by Steward would be passed on to the government, and the American company would still be liable for a €100 million contractual pay-out for its equity.

“It was a deception intended to benefit not those who need care, but the chosen company to be paid, come what may, even if they go bust or do not meet their obligations,” Delia said this afternoon.

Three hospitals had been passed on to Vitals and they had obligations, Delia said. “But they did nothing. Not a little or almost everything. Nothing.” 

He pointed out that the Maltese taxpayer had already paid out €200 million for this deal.

Delia reiterated his call for the government to rescind the agreement.

“We cannot continue to pay €80-€90 million a year and get nothing in return for the next 20 years. It is clear that if there was ever a time to understand this, it would be during a public health emergency,” Delia went on.

Had there been no Vitals contract, there would be 900 more beds for use by government.

“This is beyond illegal, it is immoral,” Delia quipped, once again inviting the government to publish the original contract.