A new managing director at the Foundation for Medical Services was appointed on the same day the CEO resigned, with the board of directors unaware of what was happening, sources said.

This newspaper reported yesterday that the FMS – which has a budget of €150 million – was experiencing upheaval in the wake of sudden changes in the top echelons.

The CEO, Brian St John, stepped down, board members, appointed by the government just 12 months earlier were replaced and the chairman, Joe Cappello, a former CEO of Air Malta, was substituted by Peter Cordina, who unsuccessfully contested the last MEP elections on behalf of the Labour Party.

When contacted, Mr Cappello said he had not resigned but confirmed he was not re-appointed.

Asked about the recent changes, a spokesman for the Energy and Health Ministry would not say why Mr St John had resigned but noted that his contract had expired.

Without going into detail on the recruitment procedure followed, the spokesman said the newly-installed managing director, James Camenzuli, an engineer, “has over 20 years experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing and building services industry”.

Obvious ministry wanted radical change

No details about his financial package were given. Foundation sources described what happened as “a takeover by the ministry” on the day the board’s term of office expired.

“It is now obvious that the ministry wanted to change things radically and has taken the opportunity to do a complete wipe-out of what former Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia had started,” the sources said.

They insisted that the CEO was left with no option but to resign.

Contacted yesterday, Mr St John preferred not to comment but confirmed he had stepped down. The FMS is in its final stages of delivering a new oncology centre close to Mater Dei.

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