The Chairman of the Emergency Clinic Department at Mater Dei Hospital, Dr Michael Spiteri, said that during the first two days of this year the Department has had to deal with an influx of patients, particularly elderly patients suffering winter influenza symptoms.
He said it is persons with chronic symptoms that require the utmost of attention and at this time of the year these are in their tens, if not their hundreds.
With Television Malta Dr Spiteri expressed his frustration that people go to the Emergency facility when they can easily be treated at local health centres.
He said that those who resort to Emergency when they can be treated at health centres leave a negative impact to the detriment of those really in need of emergency treatment.
Regarding persons who went to Emergency because of excess alcohol intake during this festive season, Dr Spiteri said that the educational campaign in this sphere seems to have borne fruit.
He said the number of those suffering intoxication that came to Emergency seemed to be less than in previous years and this has also been reflected in reduced traffic incidents.
Dr Spiteri warned that excess alcohol intake may lead to heart and lung problems as well as mental problems and may even lead to instant death.