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