Speaker to de­cide whether in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Vi­tals Health­care will be by PAC or Health Com­mit­tee

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

The Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee was yes­ter­day dom­i­nated by heated dis­cus­sion as to whether or not the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the con­tracts be­tween the gov­ern­ment and Vi­tals Global Health­care should be put for­ward to the afore­men­tioned com­mit­tee or to the Health Com­mit­tee, where it had al­ready been ap­proved for dis­cus­sion.

The re­quest was put for­ward by Union Ħad­diema Magħqudin and the Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion of Malta, who both raised con­cerns re­gard­ing Vi­tals Global Health­care’s abil­ity to raise the nec­es­sary fi­nanc­ing to make good on its prom­ise to in­vest about €220 mil­lion in the run­ning of the Gozo, Karin Grech and St Luke’s hospi­tals.

It was for this rea­son that the unions felt that the is­sue would be bet­ter served in front of the PAC rather than the MC; since it is their be­lief that the is­sue re­quires the fi­nan­cial know-how of the com­mit­tee and the Au­di­tor Gen­eral.

Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Owen Bon­nici did not be­lieve that the is­sue should be put be­fore the PAC once the re­quest had al­ready been ap­proved by a sep­a­rate com­mit­tee. The med­i­cal com­mit­tee is headed by Labour Whip, Dr God­frey Far­ru­gia.

Op­po­si­tion MP Clau­dio Grech claimed that the min­is­ter’s op­po­si­tion to the unions’ pro­posal proved that the gov­ern­ment did not want the is­sue put for­ward in front of the PAC, chaired by for­mer PN Min­is­ter To­nio Fenech.

Shadow Health Min­is­ter Claudette But­tigieg said that she would be re­tract­ing her re­quest for the is­sue to be dis­cussed by the Par­lia­men­tary Health Com­mit­tee in or­der for the Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee to in­ves­ti­gate the deal on the pri­vati­sa­tion of three hospi­tals

The rul­ing on the dis­cus­sion will be de­cided by the Speaker at a later date.

The Min­is­ter’s op­po­si­tion to the unions’ pro­posal proves that the gov­ern­ment does not want the is­sue put for­ward in front of the PAC

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