The evaluation report on the Vitals Global Healthcare deal shows that while ‘investors’ failed to meet their funding commitments, the Maltese government handed them some €150 million.
Opposition Leader Adrian Delia today shared the evaluation report he received as part of the proceedings in the case he instituted to get the three hospitals returned to the public.
The report, he said, showed the deal was “designed to fail”. Its publication comes only a few days after it was revealed that former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat attended a meeting between Prime Minister Robert Abela and US-based company Steward Healthcare, which took over the VGH deal for €1.
Muscat made the case last week for more funds required by Steward Healthcare to meet concession requirements after Health Minister Chris Fearne refused to sign off on additional funds, according to media reports. This was not the first time that taxpayers were asked to fork out more funds to sustain the deal.
Fearne was the one who had sold the idea to the public that Steward was ‘the real deal‘ after VGH, at another point when the so-called ‘investors’ had requested more funds from the government just before selling off to Steward for a pittance.
An investigation to be published by The Shift tomorrow sheds light on how VGH and Steward worked together to sell the same deal to the most corrupt countries in Europe, with the help of well-placed government representatives in these countries. They used the funds and “success” of the deal in Malta to replicate the controversial deal. The investigation is part of a series that traces the ‘investors’ dealings in other countries.
“It was a scandalous deal clearly designed to fail,” Delia said. The report sheds light on the contract signed with the government, which has so far not been made public. When the government had presented the agreement in parliament in 2017, it was severely redacted which left people in the dark on the details agreed.
In 2015, Vitals were paid millions to transform St Luke's into a centre for medical tourism. In 2020, this is what we have instead ⬇️ The entire report is available here: https://t.co/daIt9z870B pic.twitter.com/ycJzr6Bwo2
— Adrian Delia (@adriandeliapn) February 1, 2020
It shows the involvement of Manuel Castagna from Nexia BT, which The Shift also revealed to have been part of the Streamcast deal.
“Page after page reveals the details of the agreement on the deal – a document that the government and the Attorney General wanted hidden… The first page refers to one of the three involved, Manuel Castagna from Nexia BT – the company that Robert Abela has not as yet decided should terminate its services to the government despite everyone else in the country knowing the role it played in exploiting the Maltese people,” Delia said.
It followed the same pattern as other projects signed by the government where evidence was buried to allow theft to continue, he added, seemingly referring to the Egrant inquiry.
The Opposition Leader insisted the main point of court action was to have the three hospitals given to individuals “with no experience or track record in the field” returned to the Maltese public.
Delia demanded the Prime Minister take immediate action against those involved.