The Health Ministry has received 21 bids from companies and joint ventures interested in supplying a prefabricated hospital for the treatment of coronavirus patients, but only 14 of them were filed with a financial bid and before the deadline, documents have revealed.
The lowest bid was for just under €4 million while the highest came from a consortium which offered a modular hospital for €29 million.
According to the document which listed the received bids and the time these were received, along with the financial offer, the list of 21 includes offers from companies and individuals who did not include the financial aspect as requested in the tender document.
Some others were received after the 10am deadline on March 26. The Health Ministry said these late bids, as per tendering regulations, will not be considered.
The Foundation for Medical Services issued a three-day international call last Monday, seeking a bidder who would build a prefabricated medical hospital in eight weeks.
According to the bid, the hospital must include 60 ventilator-equipped intensive care beds.
The hospital will significantly increase Malta’s healthcare capacity, with resources stretched by the virus pandemic.
Health Minister Chris Fearne on Thursday said he had ordered the board adjudicating bids for the structure to suspend operations, pending an investigation into allegations by opposition MP Jason Azzopardi.
Azzopardi claimed there was trading in influence when TEC Ltd had contacted a German firm, Roder, for a quotation to build such a hospital two weeks ago. The international call to build the hospital was only published last Monday.
The company, Azzopardi said, is close to the Labour Party and had set up the tents used in Robert Abela’s leadership campaign.
But on Saturday, Fearne said he was informed the company had not bid for the project to build the field hospital and had denied the claims.
Azzopardi released the document with all applications received and questioned how the government will be choosing the supplier and on which criteria.
According to the call, the hospital must include: a triage area; an emergency room clinic unit; two inpatient high dependency ward units equipped with a minimum of 24 beds, with patient monitors and 12 ventilators and six intensive care units equipped with 60 beds, 60 patient monitors and 45 ventilators; an X-ray room, a pharmacy and a mortuary.
As in all other public contracts, the sole award criterion will be the price. The contract will be awarded to the tenderer submitting the cheapest priced offer satisfying the administrative and technical criteria.
The document provides for a penalty of €50,000 per day for late commencement and for every day until the project is executed.
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