Updated 9.30pm, adds Steward's statement

An emergency arbitrator has ordered Steward Health Care to bear the Maltese government’s costs as the dispute over the hospitals' deal continues.

In a statement on Friday, the government said it had defeated an International Chamber of Commerce Emergency Arbitration proceeding brought by Steward.

According to the ICC website, this procedure offers a short-term solution for parties that are unable to wait for the constitution of an arbitral tribunal. Any emergency measure granted takes the form of an order. 

The government said that it cannot comment further on the case as the matter is related to the terminated concession. No information was given, either, about the proceedings.

On Thursday, Steward said it had filed a formal complaint to the European Commission against the government and the judiciary for infringement of EU law, on several grounds.

It comes after the court annulled the concession agreement through which Vitals Global Healthcare and later Steward took over the management of Karin Grech, St Luke's and Gozo hospitals.

Steward has appealed that verdict, arguing that it was defrauded by the Maltese government and punished by a biased court.

The government later sent a termination letter to Steward, informing it that it is stepping in immediately to run the three hospitals it had administered.

In a statement later, Steward said that on March 16, it submitted a termination notice to the government due to "non-rectifiable defaults on the government’s part".

It said the concerted government and government agencies action and the failure of the rule of law as exemplified by the court of first instance judgement justified it's request of a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice and a complaint to the European Commission.

Friday's "deliberate and misleading omission of facts" in the Maltese press, it said, further proved why SHCM felt unable to continue to operate in Malta, "where institutions are clearly aligned against foreign investors".

It said:

"SHCM remains committed to stating facts and to ensuring that all evidence is correct.

"SHCM remains committed to a fair and orderly transition and will ensure that the well-being of our patients and our employees remain our priority."

It said that the facts and evidence about the concession can be accessed here.


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