Watch: “Do the right thing on the previously state owned hospitals,” Delia urges PM

Adrian Delia

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia has urged Prime Minister Robert Abela to take the right decision on the three state hospitals which were privatised through a deal with VGH.

In a press conference on Thursday held at the party headquarters in Pietà, Delia spoke about the coronavirus outbreak in Malta and the global pandemic. He highlighted that this is a race against time, and the government is taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the curve is flattened and that the healthcare resources are at no point overstretched.

On Thursday, 7 new cases were announced bringing the total up to 195. From the cases announced, all but one were locally transmitted, Professor Gauci remarked during the daily press briefing.

Addressing the press conference, Delia outlined how three state hospitals – St Luke’s, Karin Grech and the Gozo General Hospital were transferred to a company which had no experience in the healthcare sector, VGH. He mentioned how the company had previously signed a memorandum of understanding before a public call was made.

Delia highlighted that the government failed to reply on the €100 million bill Malta will be made to pay if the concession is ever rescinded.

Describing it as the latest scandal in a corrupt deal, Delia underlined that the government chosen to bind the country and make taxpayers liable to pay €100 million to Steward Healthcare. “The hospitals were left to degenerate over the years and taxpayers had to foot the bill,” Delia said.

The Opposition Leader insisted that the government should take back the three hospitals and rescind the contract. He stressed that the Opposition is ready to fight side by side the government in order to reclaim the public hospitals back.

“Taxpayers should not have to foot a €100 million bill to criminals,” he remarked.

Opposition spokesperson for finance, Mario de Marco said that the deal was a classical case of how not to do a public private partnership. He highlighted the twofold role of Finance Minister Edward Scicluna – which is not limited only to ensuring tax collection but has a role in ensuring that the government revenue is used in an efficient manner. The Ministry of Finance is also responsible for public procurement, in this case, Scicluna abdicated from his responsibility, De Marco said.

The MP reminded that disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi, former Economy Minister Chris Cardona and Scicluna are subject of a criminal investigation which was initiated following a request filed in court and later upheld by a magistrate.

“The state and its taxpayers are being penalised and are paying for services to a company that failed to fulfill its contractual obligation,” De Marco remarked.

Opposition spokesperson for health Stephan Spiteri said that the coronavirus outbreak in Malta resulted in a national health emergency and poses challenges to our health care system and infrastructure. He said that the prefabricated hospital was being set up since the projection shows that Mater Dei Hospital would not be sufficient.

He highlighted the need to ensure that the health care system is not overwhelmed. Spiteri questioned why public transport was still running and why people working in factories were still going to work given the restrictions being implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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