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25.04.

2017

PRIVATE NOTICE QUESTION

The Honourable Leader of the Opposition

To ask the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External


Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic
Development

Whether, in regard to the takeover of the Apollo Bramwell Hospital, he will-

(a) for the benefit of the House, obtain from the NIC Health Care Ltd,
information as to the:-

(i) gross and net proceeds from the disposal thereof after deduction
of all costs accrued since April 2015 to date;
(ii) reasons for the aborted sale thereof to Omega Ark Limited;
(iii) name of the Notary Public whose services were retained for the
disposal thereof, indicating the fees payable thereto; and
(iv) value ascribed thereto in their books; and

(b) state if he will consider appointing a Commission of Inquiry to look into


the whole matter?

REPLY

Madam Speaker,

I refer the Honourable Leader of the Opposition to the Reply I made


on 31st August 2016, in my capacity as the then Minister of Finance and
Economic Development, to the PNQ of his predecessor the then Leader of
Opposition on the same subject. The Honourable Leader of the Opposition
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was then the Deputy Prime Minister and was party to all Cabinet decisions
on matters pertaining to Apollo Bramwell Hospital.

Madam Speaker, in 2015 the Apollo Bramwell Hospital along with the
other entities in the BAI group, were faced with a big financial crisis. The
hospital was unable to meet its financial commitments that could have led
to its closure, with the consequences that some 700 employees would have
lost their jobs. Government decided that its priority was to save the jobs of
these employees and that the best option was to sell the hospital as a
going concern with the condition to maintain the employees in their jobs.

In the transition phase leading to the sale of the hospital, Government


had set up the NIC Healthcare Ltd to oversee its day-to-day operation.
The NIC Healthcare Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National
Insurance Company Ltd, which is under the aegis of the Ministry of
Financial Services and Good Governance.

The sale of the hospital was finalised in January 2017 to the Medical
and Surgical Center Ltd, a company within the CIEL Group.

Madam Speaker, as regards part (a) (i) of the question, the gross
proceeds from the disposal of Apollo Bramwell Hospital business,
excluding buildings and associated infrastructure, was Rs 700 million. As
regards the lease of leasehold land and hospital buildings, the lessee has
to pay an annual rent of Rs 60 million.

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The net amount after the deduction of all costs accrued since April
2015 to date is Rs 77.2 million.

Concerning Part (a) (ii) of the question, the sale to Omega Ark Ltd did
not materialise because the buyer could not mobilise and transfer to
Mauritius by the due date the required funds to pay for the acquisition.
As regards Part (a) (iii) of the question, it is the practice for the buyer
to appoint the notary and the buyer appointed Me Wenda Sawminaden as
notary. The fees were paid by the buyer.

With regard to Part (a) (iv) of the question, the value of the leasehold
land and hospital buildings in the books of the National Insurance Company
Ltd stood at Rs 2.5 billion.

As regards Part (b) of the question, no Government can run a country


by having constant recourse to Commissions of Inquiry at the mere request
or on the mere insistence of the Opposition from any quarter. In fact,
gratuitous allegations, baseless criticisms and innuendoes, disinformation
and distorted facts, and sheer demagogy are certainly not elements that
can even remotely justify the setting of such a vital commission as a
Commission of Inquiry.

These are no substitutes to evidence.

It is therefore not proposed to appoint a Commission of Inquiry on this


matter.