MAM welcomes Skanska deal - 10/11/2004

MAM welcomes Skanska deal
Fiona Galea Debono

The Medical Association of Malta has welcomed the outcome of talks between the government and Skanska on the completion of the new hospital.

The talks established that the consortium would be paid a total of Lm145.5 million for the building of the Mater Dei Hospital, the incorporation of facilities and the installation of medical equipment, reducing the potential bill by Lm25 million.

MAM general secretary Martin Balzan said the fact that a fixed sum and date had been established was "very positive", as was the fact that "everybody now knows where they stand".

MAM praised Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi for "grabbing the bull by the horns and doing his utmost to reach a conclusion, establishing clear objectives and a clear payment".

With regard to the relocation of the Medical School and the Institute of Health Care within the building, MAM said it would like to know exactly where and how this was going to happen and what sort of deviation would there be from the original plans. "The association has no idea how the Medical School is being relocated and where," Dr Balzan said.

"Overall, we agree with the establishment of clear objectives and an amount, as well as the way the situation was managed, but we refrain from commenting on figures as this is not within the association's remit."

MAM intended to comment on the agreement in more detail at a later stage.

As a member of the public and tax payer, Dr Balzan expressed the hope that Skanska would not overshoot the mark again, although MAM had confidence it would not at this stage.

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