Health ministry accuses PN of attacking foreign investment

Health ministry accuses Nationalist Party of threatening investment after ilmument reported a link between hospital investor Vitals Global Healthcare and a company in the British Virgin Islands

The health ministry has today accused a “desperate” Opposition of trying to attack foreign direct investment after the Nationalist Party's newspaper reported a link between a hospital investor and a company in the British Virgin Islands.

On Sunday, PN news organ il-mument carried a front-page report blasting the ‘latest scandal in Muscat's government.' The newspaper reported that Vitals Global Healthcare – the preferred bidder chosen for the €200 million investment at St Luke's Hospital, Karen Grech Rehabilitation Centre and the Gozo Hospital – has a direct link with a company in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction renowned for money laundering and tax evasion.

The newspaper also reported that the Confederation of Trade Unions (CMTU) yesterday called for the publication of the contract before pointing out that Keith Schembri, the prime minister's chief of staff has a company in the British Virgin Islands.

Hitting out at the newspaper for “attempting to recycle a story which was immediately clarified by Vitals Global Healthcare”, the ministry for energy and health said the “latest attack is a clear indication that a possible future PN administration is a threat to investment and further economic growth.”

The ministry also insisted that it has committed itself to publish the contracts, and in a dig at the PN, argued that in spite of inherited a Mater Dei Hospital beset with major structural issues, it can boast of a successful track record which is destined to trigger “futile attempts of spin by the Opposition.”

“The Public Private Partnership with Vitals Global Healthcare will transform Gozo Hospital into a modern general hospital with an adjoining Geriatrics and Rehabilitation Centre and a world class medical school operated by Bart's. The PPP will also add beds and transition Karen Grech into a Geriatrics Hospital and also create a new rehabilitation centre and dermatology centre at St Luke's. These will be complemented by a medical centre focused on medical tourism.”

“The Minister and the team will continue to work to change people's lives for the better and will strive to maintain current levels of out of stock medicines, continue to address waiting lists and bed shortage across all medical centres in Malta and Gozo,” the ministry continued.