Government's agreement with Barts a 'memorandum of understanding'

Economy Minister says that an agreement between the goverernment and Barts for the opening of a medical school in Gozo a memorandum of understanding but that negotiations are at an advanced stage.

An agreement between the government and Barts for the latter to open a medical school in Gozo is still just a memorandum of understanding, Economy Minister Chris Cardona said.

Responding to questions in parliament by shadow economy minister Claudio Grech on the government’s claims that the agreement was a ‘done deal’, Cardona said that negotiations for this deal are at an advanced stage.

He confirmed that the deal will involve the transfer of land between the government and Barts on which the latter will construct the medical school. A decision on whether the land will be transferred through public procurement or through a parliamentary resolution has not yet been decided.  

“On 18 March, Malta Enterprise, the Health Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Economy Ministry, Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry signed an agreement for Barts to establish themselves in Gozo,” Cardona recounted. “On the same day, the Prime Minister announced that this investment will form part of a €200 million investment by the private sector into the health sector.”

He added that talks between the government and Barts commenced in February 2014. Apart from the setting up of the medical school, the government’s investment proposal also includes the setting up of medical tourism centres within St Luke’s Hospital and the Gozo General Hospital, and the upgrading of those two hospitals as well as of Karin Grech Hospital.

The call for proposals will expire by the end of May.

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