Government kicks out Steward, immediately takes over hospitals

Government rejects Steward’s own termination, moving in to kick them out on its own terms

Updated at 6:20pm with Chris Fearne reaction 

Government has informed Steward it will be taking over the hospitals in what is described as a ‘control step-in’.

This effectively means that government has rejected Steward’s own termination of the contract and instead moved to kick them out on its own terms.

In a statement out on Tuesday, government said it notified Steward it will proceed with a ‘control step-in’ to take over Gozo General, Karin Grech and St Luke’s hospitals.

Government has rejected Steward’s own termination and informed them that it will be moving in “immediately” to take over the hospitals.

Government said all medical and clinical services will continue unhindered and reassured all employees that their jobs will be safeguarded.

Chris Fearne reacts to decision

Speaking in parliament later on Tuesday, Health Minister Chris Fearne reacted to the announcement by stating government will not take the opportunity to improve the country’s health service.

“We will now focus on ensuring operations and services are not disrupted,” he said. “We will also ensure jobs are safeguarded.”

He said the process for the installation of a new MRI Machine at the Gozo General Hospital will kick-off immediately.

“Discussions will also start with stakeholders on the plans to modernise the building of the Gozo hospital and Karen Grech,” he said.

The minister also assured contractors and sub-contractors they will be retained.