Busuttil calls on government to explain decision to pay more for hospital services

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says it was unfathomable how the government had agreed to pay VGH €15 million a year for services than they currently cost

PN leader Simon Busuttil says details of VGH contract were embarrassing for government
PN leader Simon Busuttil says details of VGH contract were embarrassing for government

The government needed to explain why it had agreed to pay Vitals Healthcare Group €70 million a year for hospital beds when it currently only cost the government €55m to provide the same service, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said this morning.

Busuttil, in a phone interview on Radio 101, said that new details revealed about the VGH contract for the administration of St Luke’s Hospital, Karin Grech and the Gozo hospital were very embarrassing for the government.

The Sunday Times of Malta reported today how VGH is to be paid €188,000 a day, or nearly €70 million a year, to provide beds to the government at the three hospitals, €15m more than it cost the government to run the three facilities today.

Busuttil called on Health Minister Chris Fearne to explain the discrepancy, especially since he had frequently claimed the government would not spend more than necessary on services.

With regards to the criminal complaint against him by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Busuttil said it reminded him of George Orwell’s 1984.

“The situation we are living in today is like 1984, where the truth is lies and lies are the truth,” he said. 

Keith Schembri filed a criminal complaint on Thursday after the Opposition demanded a magisterial inquiry to investigate money laundering allegations resulting from the Panama Papers.

Busuttil said people should not forget that this was the first time in history that the government chose to take police action against the leader of the Opposition.

“This intimidation will not stop me, on the other hand it gives me more impetus to carry on the fight,” he said.

“I am not afraid and Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat need to understand that even when I am no longer the leader of the opposition after 16 September, I will continue to fight to see justice done.”

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