There are grounds for a criminal investigation into the Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) hospitals deal, former opposition leader Adrian Delia believes.  

Addressing a press conference in the wake of a 460-page Auditor General report about the controversial contracts, Delia slammed the government for having voted in parliament to give current concessionaires Steward Healthcare more money - on the same day that the  report was released. 

Steward Healthcare took over the running of the St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo Hospitals after VGH crashed out of the contract in 2017.

The company will receive €69 million in taxpayer funding in 2022 - a 40 per cent increase over the previous year. 

'A corrupt contract'

Delia, who is spearheading a legal bid to have the hospitals deal rescinded, criticised the approach taken by certain government officials called to testify in the case he opened in 2018 .

The PN MP said it is clear a time-wasting strategy by the government which ordinary people are paying for.

“If the government was serious, it would not continue rewarding a corrupt contract,” Delia said.

Delia said the government continued to pay Steward millions despite its failure to hit its contractual milestones.

He said Prime Minister Robert Abela must be the only person in Malta who has yet to realise that Steward is in breach of its contract.

The government and Steward are reported to have hit a stalemate in negotiations to have the deal cancelled. 

Delia questioned what the prime minister is waiting for to take the three hospitals back from Steward.

PN shadow health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri said the VGH contract should have resulted in a better service being given to patients. Instead, the people behind VGH had “escaped” with millions in their pockets, leaving the hospitals in a dilapidated state.

PN election candidate Darren Carabott questioned what the government is getting out of the contract.

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