Current Affairs
Covid booster will be given to health workers and teachers from the middle of November

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne told Parliament that the Covid vaccine booster will be given to health sector workers and teachers from the middle of next month, while it will be given to persons aged between 60 and 70 from the middle of December.

From tomorrow, he said Malta will recognise the vaccine certificates of more countries and from next week, social distancing will be removed during events of up to 300 vaccinated seated persons and wearing the mask, and under 12-year old children accompanying them.

The Health Minister added that, eventually, this will be extended to events where the audience is standing so that for Christmas social life will move further to normality, if the situation does not change.

Referring to the health budget estimates, Dr Fearne said that almost €1 billion are being spent on health to further increase quality and excellent services which Malta provides in the sector. Among others, he mentioned new medicines in the government formulary which will be available in pharmacies, including IVF, cancer and bone treatments, fibromyalgia and mental care.

Referring to Mater Dei hospital, he said that old equipment will be changed and work will commence on the new Outpatients building with a 500 car free parking space and a bus terminus. This will also create space for the building of new wards at Mater Dei.

Dr Fearne said that the Steward contract compel the company with the same obligations that Vitals Global Healthcare had. The government is ensuring that Steward will operate the concession given to them in the framework of Maltese and European legislation, and purchasing regulations.

By the end of next year, the Health Minister said that the first medical service will start at the Ċentru Vincent Moran in Paola, while a building block was demolished in Mount Carmel hospital to provide space for a therapeutic garden. A team of professionals will be established to visit homes and intervenes in mental crisis situations.

Referring to the waiting list for operations, which he said increased due to the pandemic’s pressure, Dr Fearne said that the number of persons waiting for surgeries decreased by half to less than 3,000 persons during the past six months.

Opposition spokesperson for health, Stephen Spiteri, said that the health service should reflect the quality of life and that allocated funds should be used for a better livelihood.