The government does not get involved in contracts signed between a concessionaire and its supply chain, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said.
Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne told Lovin Malta that plans were underway to scrap a controversial deal which granted local medical supplier Technoline exclusive procurement rights for the St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals, which were sold to VGH and are today operated by Steward Healthcare.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he did not believe in a model of procurement that grants exclusivity to a single company. He said Steward was working to reverse the Technoline contract.
Speaking to The Malta Independent, Mizzi, who had negotiated the VGH deal back when he was still Health Minister, said the government does not cancel an agreement between the concessionaire and the supply chain. The government has an agreement between the ministry of health and the concessionaire, which is Steward. There is no other agreement. The government does not have an agreement with Technoline.
He said the concessionaires have the right to decide what agreements they enter into with service providers.
“It is up to Steward to decide whether to retain this agreement or otherwise. It’s not an agreement that the government signed or entered into,” Mizzi said, adding that the government would prefer if Steward opened its procurement system to the market rather than give an exclusive contract to one company.
The VGH contract is once again under the spotlight after The Shift News revealed that VGH had used a Jersey company to loan Vassallo €5.14 million in December 2016, a few months before he started buying out Technoline’s shareholders.
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