The private television channel that Prime Minister Edi Rama is running from his Facebook account, ERTV, has now turned into an advertisement medium for the major clients of his government. No longer hiding the close ties between himself and the Spitali Amerikan (American Hospital), Prime Minister Rama today transmitted more than 15 minutes of commercials for a new branch of the hospital.
At the time of this writing, the video, published an hour ago, had garnered 47,000 views and 506 shares.
The American Hospital, a private company directed by Klodian Allajbeu, is an old client of the Rama government. First of all, the American Hospital was the winner of the suspicious public procurement procedure for hemodialysis. Only after the tender was awarded, it became publicly known that the American Hospital had been hiding behind one of the most expensive, and winning, bids on the tender by the unknown company Evita.
The tender, worth a government investment of €63.5 million over ten years, was sold in December 2016 for a mere €221,500 by Evita to Megapharm shpk, another favorite client of the government.
The American Hospital manages the hemodialysis centers that are part of the tender. In July 2016, a fire in one of the centers managed by the hospital killed four people who were being treated. Even though it was clear that no proper security protocols were in place and no fire extinguishers were available to save four kidney patients from burning alive, the prosecution failed to indict anyone for the incident, while the American Hospital pressured the media to remove its name from the news report, threatening to withhold advertisements.
In his opening speech, Prime Minister Rama state that his government “has opened a new epoch of collaboration between public service and private service.” What this means in reality is that after awarding it a major healthcare concession and practical immunity from prosecution over the death of four citizens, the Prime Minister now provides his corporate client with a free audience of more than one million Facebook followers as a target of unfiltered corporate propaganda.