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MALTATODAY 2 January 2022

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PAGE 2 TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT/COVID19 SUNDAY • 2 JANUARY 2022 • ISSUE 1157 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday Vitals contractors refuse to pay €8.4 million tax bill What to hope for... €1.95 Indian engineering giant will not exhibit Vitals hospitals contract due to confidential contents that could cause 'controversy of a political nature' MATTHEW AGIUS THE Maltese Courts will be- gin holding sittings in May in a case filed by Indian engineering giant Shapoorji Pallonji (Malta), in which it is contesting an €8.39 million tax bill under an invoice Shapoorji says was left unpaid by Vitals Global Healthcare. The Malta subsidiary of Du- bai-based Shapoorji Pallonji International FZC had signed a contract with Vitals Global Healthcare and Vitals Glob- al Healthcare Management in 2016. Under the terms of the con- tract, Shapoorji was engaged to design and build projects at St. Luke's Hospital, Karin Grech Hospital and Gozo General Hospital. The agreement was, unusually, not exhibited in court together with the sworn application due to its confiden- tial contents, which head of HR Hemnath Kathiresan explained could cause "controversy of a political nature." PHILIP FENECH JAMES DEBONO OUT-OF-POCKET spend- ing as a share of total health spending in Malta in 2018 was 34.3% – the fourth highest proportion in the EU and more than twice the EU average, a recently published OECD 'State of Health in the EU' re- port reveals. Spending on outpatient care accounted for the largest share of out-of pocket (OOP) spend- ing, with the OECD report attributing this high share to "sociocultural reasons". But the report warns that this is "essentially creating a de fac- to two-tier health system". "Maltese people with a cer- tain level of income and educa- tion have traditionally sought care from private practition- ers," the report says, finding many seeking outpatient care directly from private special- ists without a referral "to cir- cumvent long waiting lists." PAGE 5 A panel of eight thinkers, movers and shakers in the worlds of Maltese science, arts, health and policy have their say PAGES 8-15 and what we can expect in 2022 More turn to private health as OECD warns of 'two-tier health system' We can't fool around with science INTERVIEW MT2

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