Pri­vati­sa­tion of hos­pi­tals may deny cit­i­zens right to file com­plaint to Om­buds­man

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Cit­i­zens could lose their right to com­plain to the Om­buds­man due to the pri­vati­sa­tion of the St Luke’s, Gozo and Karin Grech hos­pi­tals by Vitals Global Health­care, a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee heard yes­ter­day. The Om­buds­man, An­thony Mif­sud, told the House Busi­ness Com­mit­tee that pri­vati­sa­tion could im­prove the qual­ity of ser­vice un­less “that pri­vate ser­vice provider that is pri­mar­ily mo­ti­vated by profit and not nec­es­sar­ily by the com­mon good.”

Mr Mif­sud also said that he has spo­ken with Min­is­ter for Health Chris Fearne to see whether leg­is­la­tion could be amended to pro­tect a cit­i­zen’s right to com­plain to the Om­buds­man.

The shadow min­is­ter for health, Claudette But­tigieg, raised con­cerns about the Om­buds­man’s re­marks, but Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­is­ter Chris Car­dona as­sured the MPs that the govern­ment and the Euro­pean Union would pro­tect peo­ple’s rights in the pri­vati­sa­tion of both the health and en­ergy sec­tors.

Civil Lib­er­ties Min­is­ter He­lena Dalli also said that the com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties would serve as reg­u­la­tors and safe­guard peo­ple’s rights in ac­cor­dance to Mal­tese law.

Mr Mif­sud also called for the ap­point­ment of a Deputy Om­buds­man in order to strengthen his of­fice since it is the main link be­tween the gov­ern­men­tal bod­ies and so­ci­ety which en­sures peo­ple’s rights are be­ing pro­tected.

An­thony Mif­sud

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