Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM) has given notice to the Government to terminate the Services Concession Agreement and related contractual framework following breaches of commercial agreements.
A press release distributed by SHCM states that the concession agreement was terminated due to “non-rectifiable defaults on the part of the Government of Malta.” The communication went on to state that “The company believes that the operating environment and investment climate in Malta is not conducive for foreign companies to have a constructive partnership with the Government.”
The concession in question includes the management and operation of St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo General hospitals and the Barts Medical School.
“SHCM and its parent company, Steward Health Care International (SHCI), have operated at all times in accordance with the highest professional standards and values, including a desire for good governance and transparency”, the communication read.
Steward went on to state that the government’s failure to appeal the Civil Court verdict of its ‘corrupt behaviour’ is an admission of guilt and failure in governance.
“SHCI’s exit from Malta will allow the company and its management to focus resources on jurisdictions that are more accommodating to and protective of investors, and more aligned with its high standards.”
Last February, Justice Francesco Depasquale’s ruling stated that there was fraud in three stages of the process. The shareholders of Vitals had already concluded a memorandum of understanding with the government before it published its intention to privatize the hospitals.
In a damning judgment, Judge Depasquale ruled that the Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital, and Karin Grech Hospital should be returned to the government due to fraud and the failure to meet targets.
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