Steward faces deluge of court cases over unpaid bills

Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

Following recent revelations that a small Gozitan firm is suing Steward Health Care over unpaid bills, more companies have filed court cases asking the government’s beleaguered concessionaire to settle outstanding invoices for various services.

Sources close to the Gozo General Hospital told The Shift that some eight court cases have already been instituted against Steward, and more are expected in the coming weeks as the company is refusing to pay for services it received despite the hundreds of millions of euro it received from the government.

According to the sources, Steward’s management told debtors to ask the government as the problem was no longer theirs.

Research conducted by The Shift shows that the largest case, in terms of value, was instituted by Zenith Malta Division Ltd, part of the Zenith consultancy group, claiming unpaid bills of more than €1 million.

According to the filed court cases, Steward has also failed to pay Signal 8 Security Services Ltd some €160,000, Malta Healthcare Caterers Ltd some €155,000, Support Services Ltd some €678,000, Health Services Group Ltd some €64,000 and Orthopaedic Centre Malta Ltd some €181,000.

This is over and above the €10,000 for unpaid coffee to Gelluxa Ltd from Qala and €37 million in unpaid VAT, already declared due by the Courts.

The Shift was also informed of other pending bills with the government, which will likely result in more court cases.

Former prime minister Joseph Muscat (left) with Armin Ernst from Steward Healthcare / VGH.

Steward, which took over the 30-year scandalous public hospital concession from Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) following the latter’s insolvency just a few years after the deal was struck with disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat, had to pack its bags and leave last year following a Court decision that the deal as fraudulent.

Between 2015 and 2023, the government passed on to Steward some €400 million, even though insolvency issues cropped up at VGH soon after taking over the three public hospitals.

VGH  – an unknown company which in 2015 was given the concession was forced to transfer its concession to Steward in 2018 after the original concessionaire ran into serious financial difficulties. To do so, VGH and Steward were given the government’s green light, with Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne describing the move as “the real deal”.

Both VGH and Seward failed to deliver on any of their contracted obligations.

Steward is also facing a steady stream of court cases in the US over unpaid rent, services bills, and other debts.

                           

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9 Comments
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Joseph Curmi
Joseph Curmi
1 month ago

What a deal !

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph Curmi

And all the government officials would have us believe that none of them was involved or suspected there was anything suspicious in the deal.

They’re still in power and trusted by the electorate to run the country.

I remember reading a sign outside a repair shop which proudly declared “ We can fix most things, but we can’t fix stupid”

How apt!!

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph Curmi

Yes, a steal of a deal. Literally.

Paul Berman
Paul Berman
1 month ago

the real deal unless you were dumb enough to supply them, a foreign version of price club. This was always going to end badly, all the blinded by commision government had to do was research Medical properties Trust in the USA

Mick
Mick
1 month ago

No wonder Fearne wants to run away and hide in the EU , his “real deal” is costing the country millions and he wants to decamp before he can be fingered for his complicity in a Mafia deal. Absolute w@*nker

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

The police should have intervened and kept the people in charge of Steward from leaving the country.

Paolo Soldi
Paolo Soldi
1 month ago

More than a real deal looks like an unreal shit

Lino Vella Clark
Lino Vella Clark
1 month ago

Will all these unpaid bills will now be paid by the government???? Quite a deal this VGH/ Steward Healthcare deal!!!

paul pullicino
paul pullicino
1 month ago

The best the world has seen. Muscat & Mizzi Co find this Canadian Pakistani known fraudster who will bring “foreign investment of 200 million” into the island. After we are scammed out of our own money instead (some 180 million), the stick is then passed into the hands of his lawyer, now “successor” Abela, who continues to hand over yet another 280 million to the re-born “real deal” same CEO Ernst. And no-one in the Health Ministry nor the Labour Party itself bats an eyelid as it clocks up more than half a billion in bad losses and unpaid bills. Little wonder they can forgive “minor” cheats like Rosianne and Justyne.

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