Konrad Mizzi ‘condemned’ by Deputy Prime Minister over Vitals deal, Adrian Delia says

The PN leader pointed the finger at Konrad Mizzi and insisted that it was clear that the concession was intentionally designed and structured to fail

PN leader Adrian Delia said the Vitals deal had been set up to fail
PN leader Adrian Delia said the Vitals deal had been set up to fail

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne “condemned” Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi once again today over his involvement in the Vitals Global Healthcare deal, Adrian Delia said on Tuesday.

The Nationalist Party leader has initiated court proceedings in which he is asking the court to annul an agreement signed between the government and Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) through which the company was granted a concession to run three of Malta’s public hospitals.

The concession was eventually transferred to Steward Health Care, after VGH failed to live up to the targets laid out in the agreement.

Addressing a press conference on today's court proceedings and the publication of further revelations about the deal, Delia again insisted that the deal was set up to fail.

According to a share purchase agreement published by The Shift News, the owners of Vitals – Ram Tumuluri and Shaukat Ali Abdul Ghafoor – funded the takeover of medical equipment company Technoline when it was acquired by its former sales and marketing manager, Ivan Vassallo, using a €5 million loan from one of VGH’s owners.

In comments to the press on Tuesday morning, Fearne said both he and Steward Health Care did not agree with this setup.

"After he sent the deal to be investigated by the National Audit Office, he has now announced publicly said that the contract that had to do with Technoline will be cancelled," Delia said.

The Opposition leader said Fearne's comments were a condemnation of fellow Cabinet minister Konard Mizzi, who had negotiated the concession agreement covering the three hospitals.

Asked whether he still believed the hospitals should still be nationalised, given that Steward Health Care appeared to be in a better position to meet the targets laid out in the contract, the PN leader insisted the concession had been illicitly transferred from one company to the other, adding that whether or not they were nationalised was not the issue.