Mystery over €1 million direct order at EU-funded ‘Hospital for the South’

The new Health Minister, Jo Etienne Abela, has failed to answer questions on why his predecessor, Chris Fearne, and his canvasser Carmen Ciantar – CEO at the Foundation for Medical Services (FMS), issued a €1 million direct order for project management at a new Paola mini-hospital when the project is almost completed.

The direct order was issued through an ‘urgent procedure’ just weeks before Fearne’s removal from the Health Ministry.

Project management services are usually among the first to be procured, meaning the significant direct order is somewhat unusual at this stage of a project.

Asked by The Shift for details on this direct order, the health minister did not reply despite various reminders.

In August 2022, TVM declared the construction complete.

Issued through a negotiated procedure – a form of direct order –  the Health Ministry called for “project management and technical supervisory services for the Paola Primary Health Care Southern Regional Hub,” as the long-delayed mini hospital is referred to.

The call was awarded in under a week through an urgent procedure and was given to a joint venture between Salfo and Associates SA and Ado SA, two Greek companies.

It is unknown what work they will do as the tender document was not published.

Meanwhile, the Paola Hub, the EU-funded brainchild of Chris Fearne, right in the middle of his electoral constituency, is still without an opening date, even though it has been promised since 2015.

The project, coordinated by the FMS under Fearne’s former chief of staff, Carmen Ciantar, has been plagued by severe delays and budget overruns.

Last year, Fearne told Parliament that “the hospital of the South” will open during the first quarter of 2024.

However, sources at the FMS told The Shift that no one knows if this new date will be met even though all is being done to open it during Labour’s European Parliament elections campaign.

Previously, Fearne promised the hospital would open in April 2022 and May 2023, yet both deadlines were missed.

                           

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12X
12X
25 days ago

Isn’t Project Management the remit of FMS? In their own words:

The Foundation for Medical Services designs and delivers healthcare infrastructure to contribute towards Malta’s vision of becoming a region of excellence within the healthcare field. The Foundation always strives to maintain the timely and costeffective delivery of projects of varying magnitude. FMS offers various services related to Project Management, Engineering,Design and Architecture,and IT support. FMS also carries out recruitment processes for various entities within the Ministry for Health.

https://health.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Foundation_for_Medical_Services_Freedom_of_Information.pdf

makjavel
makjavel
25 days ago

This is the perfect fraud.
After the job is completed , the Project Plan is drawn up that follows the actual works , completion dates and target costs.
Then these will be used to show that the construction went exactly as planned with no deviations.
PROSIT MINISTRU.
Bonuses for EVERYBODY.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
25 days ago

An election is in the offing.

Albert Beliard
Albert Beliard
25 days ago

The new Health Minister, Jo Etienne Abela, has failed to answer questions on why his predecessor, Chris Fearne, and his canvasser Carmen Ciantar – CEO at the Foundation for Medical Services (FMS), issued a €1 million direct order for project management at a new Paola mini-hospital when the project is almost completed.

It’s called a ‘success fee’ or a kickback in the construction industry.

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