The GSD has noted the interview given by Sir Joe Bossano to GBC on 15 August 2022 in which he denied the running of the Jewish Home had been privatised. In addition he confirmed that the cost of refurbishment had been met by a private investor under the National Economic Plan which raises further questions as to the nature of these financing arrangements.
Roy Clinton MP the GSD Shadow Minster for Public Finance stated the following:
“When I asked Sir Joe in Parliament on 19 May 2022 whether the Jewish Home had been privatised, he stated that it had not but then went on to caveat his answer by saying ‘it will be taken over by the Jewish Community and they will run it’. It is now evident that the service has effectively been privatised despite Sir Joe arguing to the contrary.
Of particular interest to me is how the refurbishment has been financed by private capital which to me is disguised borrowing. I would like Sir Joe to advise who is providing the financing, how much the refurbishment cost and disclose the terms upon which the financing is to be repaid? It is also questionable as to why the Chinese 50:50 Joint Venture GBIC was used for the refurbishment project when the Government has a 100% owned construction company in the form of GJBS. In this respect Sir Joe’s National Economic Plan makes no monetary sense.”
Elliott Phillips MP the GSD Shadow Minister for Health stated the following:
“Two concerns arise from Sir Joe’s recent interview on GBC: firstly, we have spent many, many years as a community, attempting to raise awareness and remove the stigma around mental health and to have Gibraltar most longstanding parliamentarian, Sir Joe Bossano, make highly disrespectfully and mocking comments about mental health provision is shocking and entirely unacceptable. I call on Sir Joe to unreservedly retract this most offensive comment.
Secondly: while we note that there may have been discussions with the Board of the Jewish Community it is important for the Government to assure people that the effective privatisation of the service is not going to jeopardise the integrity and the quality of care afforded to the residents of the Jewish Home. We ask the Government to set out in detail how it has arrived and what reassurance the Government can provide that Surgimed can meet the same high clinical standards enjoyed by elderly members of our community at Elderly Residential Services given that the Minister made clear in his GBC interview that the Government had influenced the decision as to who should be awarded the tender on purely economic and not quality of care grounds.”