[WATCH] People paying more for ‘deceitful’ hospitals deal but reaping no benefits - Delia

Gozo General, St Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals' costs have risen threefold since 2013, but health service saw no improvement, Adrian Delia says

PN leader Adrian Delia was speaking during an interview on Net FM on Saturday
PN leader Adrian Delia was speaking during an interview on Net FM on Saturday

Despite a huge rise is costs to the taxpayer for the Gozo, St Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals in the past six years, people have not benefitted from any improvement in the health service, Adrian Delia said.

The Nationalist Party leader said the government’s deal with Vitals Global Healthcare and Steward Health Care was deceitful and was destined to fail in order to ensure certain people made millions.

Delia said that after the government realised that Vitals - which had been chosen to take over the three hospitals despite having no experience in the health sector - was incapable of fulfilling its obligations, it had allowed the consortium to sell its concession to Steward.

Steward, in turn, have done nothing for the hospitals, he said, with taxpayers paying three to four times as much as they did six years ago but reaping no benefit.

Delia, who was speaking during an interview on Net FM on Saturday morning, said he would soon be expounding more on why the deal had failed.

“The hospitals agreement wasn’t a bad one - it was a deceitful one, destined to fail. Because only if it failed would certain people make millions,” he said, “I will be explaining more in detail on the sad situation where the government even abused of our sick, our patients, those who are suffering and have basic medical needs and who are having their medicine and health stolen from them.”

“In 2013, the taxpayer was paying €20 to €30 million to the government to run the three hospitals. In the six years since then, these costs have risen three to four times as much, to €80 to €90 million. Is there a single person who has seen a three or four-fold improvement in the health service they are receiving? We are paying €50 to €60 million more a year. Where is the money going?”

The PN leader said he was guaranteeing that the government was stealing millions from Malta's health sector, and that his party would work relentlessly to ensure that those robbing the people would pay the consequences.

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“The government is driving the health sector into the ground. Steward - and I quote the doctors’ association - has failed, and the sooner they leave Malta, the better, or the cost we will pay will be bigger,” he said.

People want answers on Qala development approval

Turning to the Planning Authority’s approval on Thursday of an application for a development in a pristine ODZ spot in Qala, Delia said that the decision was in stark contrast to the promises by the government that it would make safeguarding the environment one of its priorities.

“I don’t see any 'development'' for the better in Qala. It is clear no structures should be built in the [ODZ area],” Delia said.

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“I ask Clayton Bartolo to explain why he decided in favour of the development. And what are the views of the Environment Minister? And of the Prime Minster, who said environment will be a priority? And the Finance Minister, who said the 2020 Budget was an environmental one? And the PA? We are listening. The people want answers […] and the government has to provide them.”

Second part of PN reform will involve structural, political change

Regarding the ongoing reform of the Nationalist Party, Delia noted that, in the close to 140-year history of the party, it had itself changed, just as it had changed Malta.

Following the first part of the reform process - which involved intensive meetings and discussions with everyone in the party as well as those not connected to it, such as civil society - the second phase has now kicked in. This phase will see the party engaged in a process to reform itself structurally and politically.

The party’s politics needed to be updated, he said, but this didn’t mean they would be changed drastically. “It means that we look at the way we communicate our message and whether the message is up to date with today’s concerns.

The world was now faced with new realities, and things changed very quickly, he said, underscoring that this had to be factored in when it comes to the party’s politics.

Moreover, he said the structure of the party had to be more flexible to update itself and react quicker.

Delia added he hoped the reform would be completed by March next year.

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