Government's dry reaction after judge shreds hospitals contract: ‘We are analysing the judgment'

Government’s only reaction to a damning court ruling that annulled the hospitals concession agreement is that it is studying the judgment

In a dry statement, government says it is 'analysing' the judgment
In a dry statement, government says it is 'analysing' the judgment

Government is “analysing” the judgment that annulled the Steward hospitals concession agreement, the Department of Information said in a dry statement on Friday.

The two-sentence statement was released minutes after Mr Justice Francesco Depasquale delivered a damning ruling that annulled the hospitals contract and ordered the buildings be returned to the State.

“The government is analysing the judgment and in any eventuality, will ensure that the national interest, the jobs of all workers, and all the services that patients benefit from as a result of this concession, will be safeguarded,” the statement reads.

The judgment is expected to create political shockwaves for the Abela administration, which has so far been reluctant to terminate the hospitals agreement despite Steward Healthcare not fulfilling its contractual obligations.

The contract was signed by Konrad Mizzi during the Muscat administration and was billed as a flagship investment in health care. However, the original company awarded the contract, Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH), went belly up and the concession was sold to American company Steward Healthcare in 2018.

None of the contractual milestones were met and the judge reserved very strong words for Vitals, Steward and the government in a ruling that annulled the concession agreement.

The court case was initiated by Nationalist MP Adrian Delia when he was still Opposition leader.

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