Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech and MP Adrian Delia marched onto St Luke's hospital grounds with reporters on Tuesday, in an impromptu tour of the dilapidated site. 

Grech invited the press to walk with him through the hospital's front gates after Times of Malta asked him whether he and his MPs would ask for permission to enter, so that reporters could see the hospital's state.

Video: Karl Andrew Micallef.

The PN leader agreed. People have a right to see how Steward Healthcare failed to invest anything into the hospital, despite receiving millions in taxpayer money to do so, he said.

"As a matter of fact, after the press conference is finished, I invite you all to bring your cameras with you and walk with us inside," he told reporters.

Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.

And that is what he did.

The stroll was clearly unscheduled, prompting security personnel at the gate to follow the PN leader, politely - and fruitlessly - asking him to leave the site because he did not have permission to enter it.

Earlier on Tuesday, security guards at the site blocked two Times of Malta reporters with cameras from entering the hospital grounds.

"We didn't even allow [Labour media arm] ONE in," one of the security guards exclaimed. 

But security guards were powerless to stop the entourage of journalists and videographers, led by the Opposition leader and an MP, from touring the area. 

"Look at the investment they promised us," Grech remarked sarcastically as he walked around the hospital grounds and pointed at broken windows and broken stones.

Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.

"They built state-of-the-art pigeon holes," Delia cried, pointing to dozens of pigeons perched on broken doors on several floors of the hospital.

"Don't stand under that balcony because it might collapse on you," he told reporters.  

St Luke's hospital is one of three state hospitals that was handed to private investors Vitals Global Healthcare for a 30-year period in 2016. Vitals was eventually sold to US healthcare giants Steward Global Healthcare for a nominal fee.

Last week, a court ruled that the contracts related to that deal were null and void, as contractual obligations had been ignored and there was evidence of the entire concession having been part of a "fraudulent plot" from the outset. 

Steward has said it intends to appeal the decision. 

Grech, Delia and PN health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri held the press conference outside the hospital gates on Tuesday afternoon, insisting they are still waiting for the prime minister to apologise to the people.

Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.

They said Abela failed to take responsibility for the 'corrupt' and 'fraudulent' deal yet again on Monday, during a parliamentary debate.

"He stood with corrupt and fraudulent foreigners for years, continued to defend the deal and vote money to it, and did his utmost to see that the hospitals are not returned to the people," Grech said.

"And instead of apologising, he said he has no regrets. Abela has no regrets for abandoning the national interest and defending those who pocketed millions out of our tax money."

Grech said that during his speech in parliament, Abela was also afraid to mention the names of Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, but his government is a continuation of what was happening on their watch.

'Return the €300 million to the people'

Adrian Delia was PN leader when he filed the court case which resulted in a landmark ruling last week. 

Speaking on Tuesday, now as an MP, he insisted Abela should take responsibility and see that the €300 million given to Vitals Global Healthcare and Steward Healthcare are returned. 

Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.

"We stand at the door of the biggest monument to corruption in the country - the biggest robbery in history," he told reporters.

"We should expect to find police investigating here, but the police are not here, because this is not a normal country."

He said workers describe the hospital as abandoned, derelict and rat-infested. 

Justice has been achieved, he said, but the building must be converted into results that people expect.

Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.Photo: Karl Andrew Micallef.

'St Luke's could have been a reliever hospital for Mater Dei'

Health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri said St Luke's hospital is "falling to pieces" when it should have been a reliever hospital for Mater Dei, in an already overloaded health system.

"This hospital should have been transformed into a refurbished, 400-bed facility, with medical tourism and some of the best medical services in the country," he said.

"But none of that happened. And we desperately need another hospital because demand for healthcare is on the rise."

He also noted that many workers at St Luke's feel discriminated against because they are not given a chance to advance their careers.

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