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Corruption Alleged In Malta Healthcare Deal


In 2018, Steward Health Care System LLC (a private hospital operator in the United States headquartered in Boston) “finalized a public-private partnership to deliver exceptional health care to the people of Malta. Steward, which is physician-led and the largest private hospital operator in the United States, is now the government of Malta’s health care partner and will run a number of public medical facilities in the country.” (See here). The public-private partnership “resulted from Steward’s purchase of Vitals Global Healthcare’s concessions to run facilities [in Malta] entrusted to it.”

As highlighted here, earlier this year a court in Malta struck down the prior deal granting management of various hospitals to Vitals Global Healthcare finding that fraud had been committed before the signing of the deal. As noted in the article, “Steward said in a statement that it strongly disagreed with the court’s decision that the hospitals should be restored to state control.”

Thereafter, Steward informed the Malta government that it was pulling out of the country. (See here). As noted in the article, Steward said in a statement “The company believes that the operating environment and investment climate in Malta is not conducive for foreign companies to have a constructive partnership with the government.”

As reported here, recently former Vitals Global Healthcare director Ram Tumuluri submitted a lengthy filing with U.S. law enforcement seeking whistleblower protection claiming coercion, threats and corrupt practices by the Malta government in favor of a “pre-ordained deal with American operators Steward Health Care.”

Among other things, Tumuluri claims that during a meeting with a Steward executive, the executive boasted that he could “issue brown bags” to government officials in Malta if necessary to close deals.  

Steward has denied wrongdoing.


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