Vitals Global Healthcare and later Steward Healthcare failed to fulfil their contractual obligation to finance and set up a nursing school at St Luke's Hospital, Mcast lecturer Ralph Cassar said on Monday. 

Instead, Mcast had to foot the bill, and the course is being held at Mcast, he said in a blog. 

The 2017 deal between Mcast, Northumbria University and Vitals Global Healthcare, provided for a facility to prepare students for an additional nursing degree to the one provided by the University of Malta. 

At the time the deal was signed, then Vitals CEO Armin Ernst had said that the shortage of nurses was one of the biggest challenges in global healthcare. "By setting up a world-class degree course, we will attract more nursing students to the profession, working to tackle this shortage directly,”  he said. 

The course was meant to be hosted at Mcast temporarily while facilities were built at St Luke's.

However, Vitals did not keep their end of the bargain, Cassar said. Vitals were supposed to finance the course to the tune of €2 million with materials, training and assessment provided by Northumbria University.

“The Problem is Vitals/ SHC (Steward Healthcare) did not pay a single penny,” he said. 

Instead all costs were borne from the Mcast budget, Cassar, an ADPD candidate, said.

Last month, a  136-page landmark judgment annulled the hospitals' deal between the Government and Vitals Global Healthcare and later Steward Healthcare (SHC) after finding that the two healthcare companies defrauded the country. Steward has appealed. 


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