Awturi has written a brief note on the people behind VGH and an explainer on the company structure. In our third blog on Vitals, we show why Chris Fearne should have stopped the Vitals-Steward deal from happening and instead start an inquiry.
1. Nobody has any experience in healthcare
You would think that if you’re handing over a substantial part of a nation’s healthcare, the companies would be experienced. But no, Vitals Global Healthcare director Ram Tumuluri was a failed hotelier.
2. The deal has been kept completely secret from the public
For a such a high-profile deal which affected the public, the deal should have been as transparent as possible, with strict scrutiny and due diligence mechanisms in place. Instead, memoranda were signed behind closed doors, and contracts were redacted.
3. The Government only asked the public for proposals after the deal with VGH was done
The Maltese Government had already concluded many of the deals and signed agreements with these people BEFORE it even requested proposals. This means that not only were they given preferential treatment, but they were hand-picked by the Government, which was too closely connected with this deal.
4. VGH was bankrupt from the start
The so-called investors did not seem to have any money to invest – Asia Harimau Ltd, the parent company that owns the tender-winning company, was broke. Instead, they entered the deal to make a profit, benefitting from millions of euro in government subsidies.
5. The tender was always going to be sold to Steward Healthcare
Armin Ernst was working for both VGH and Steward, the new company the tender has been sold to. What it points to is VGH having been planning to sell of its contract from the very beginning, with Konrad Mizzi knowing they were bankrupt for months.
6. Panama timing…
Most shady of all: The Vitals-Government deal was signed on the 30 November 2014. Just two days later, Karl Cini, an accountant with Nexia BT, sends the go-ahead to open bank accounts for the companies of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, the Minister of Health at the time…