Cabinet meets at Mater Dei Hospital – Gozo Anatomy Centre to be inaugurated soon
Today the Government Cabinet held its meeting at Mater Dei Hospital as part of its series of meetings in the community.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the health sector has always been equipped by many talented people but was characterised by the mismanagement of this resource. He said today’s results are being experienced by all and this is being felt by patients.
He said previously the sector suffered from a lack of medicines, long waiting lists, bad management and poor use of space. Dr Muscat explained that as a result of various initiatives taken and will continue to be taken with Stewart Healthcare and with all the sector’s professionals, the health sector will continue to ameliorate.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne said that despite all the initiatives taken there are still challenges that have to be faced to increase the service for patients such as the sustainability of expenses to provide free medicines, the blockchain innovation and new technology including the use of robots as well as a change in mentality to lead a healthier lifestyle and the prevention of illness.
Dr Fearne said in the coming weeks a plan is to be launched in the HIV sphere as well as to ensure an increase in the inoculation of children while cancer screening is to be extended. He also added that over the last four years the number of nurses has been increased by 500 and the induction of 300 new doctors and consultants. The Minister said that training has also been increased and rendered more professional.
Regarding Primary Health Care, Dr Fearne said the Government intends to give this a boost including measures to increase health centres while the contract for the Paola Health Centre will soon be signed. He also announced that in the coming weeks an expression of interest is to be published for the building of a new health centre in the north of Malta that will be similar to a small hospital.
The Health Minister said that although Mater Dei Hospital is only ten years old it has already become antiquated, not only as a structure but also in terms of the apparatuses being used. He said plans are in hand to increase a further 300 beds between the next four to six years, the outpatients block by a further 120 beds and the mental health wing by a further 120 beds, as well as a further maternity hospital.
Dr Fearne announced that this Friday an Anatomy Centre is to be inaugurated on the Gozo campus as part of the work being undertaken by Stewart Healthcare in this sector, including Barts Medical School.
He also announced that an expression of interest is soon to be issued for those NGOs who wish to work with Government and all those who wish to give a voluntary service may apply.