You know how Joseph Muscat says he welcomes scrutiny into the hospitals swindle? Let me tell you what that means. It does not mean that if we’re able to dig deeper in that contract we’ll find nothing untoward. It means rather that the deeper the dig, the smellier the shit, and the more people are smeared by it. Joseph Muscat doesn’t rely on purity to survive the gauntlet. He relies on the fact that those who can help him know that if they don’t, they go down with him.

Now consider this official government statement summarising what Chris Fearne told a Parliamentary committee that the government was perfectly happy with any scrutiny into the hospitals swindle. I quote:

“Minister Fearne said the government has nothing to hide. But that’s not everything. This project of a new 450-bed hospital in Gozo, a centre for rehabilitation and medical tourism at St Luke’s, a geriatric hospital at Karin Grech, and the Barts medical school, is an honour for the government and will have a positive impact on healthcare and the country’s economy.”

Those should be famous last words. They may yet be.

That quote is from a statement made to Parliament on 5 December 2016. Things move slowly in Malta but some things still move. The Auditor General has published a number of reports on the hospitals since that day in 2016, but the Auditor is not done yet.

Consider how in his report published December 2021, the Auditor General said that he still needed to write a report “to review the process by which the concession was transferred from VGH Ltd and VGH Management Ltd to Steward Health Care.”

Oh God.

Let’s hope the report does not take much longer. We have already established that Minister Fearne’s forecasts of new hospitals, medical tourism, not to mention honour to the government, better health care, and economic benefits were less accurate than a church magazine horoscope.

Now we need to establish how the failure and fraud of VGH was “fixed” with the failure and fraud of Steward Health Care. Presumably there will be more reason, as if they had any, for Chris Fearne and Robert Abela to say they felt they didn’t need to apologise for the disaster they were an intrinsic part of. Quite likely there will be more reasons, as if they needed any, for the police to act against the culprits. Not that that ever changed anything.