PL to tackle Hospital overcrowding
€8 million a year will be allocated to improve and expand the services provided by Health Centres around the island, Labour leader Joseph Muscat announced this morning in front of Mater Dei Hospital.
Dr Muscat was unveiling the PL’s Health proposals, with particular emphasis on the need to address the issue of overcrowding at Mater Dei Hospital. Health Centres will also be modernised, along with new ones being built in areas such as Zurrieq, where there is a lack of medical facilities. “This will result in medical centres becoming the first ‘port of call’ for patients, who will be able to receive the full services for minor procedures instead of having to travel to Mater Dei,” he stated.
The private sector will also be brought into the fold, where the current agreement regarding emergency room patients receiving treatment at private hospitals at the Governments expense, will be expanded. Dr Muscat also mentioned the operation waiting list, adding that the times will be shortened and if a patient is overdue, then the operation could be handled by the private sector, paid for by the Government.
The PL leader spoke about medicines, explaining that through the help of the private sector, more medicines will be made free for certain conditions, adding that the current tenders will be reviewed in order to tackle the out-of-stock issue. He stated that the PN’s plan regarding patients buying medicines from the private sector will not guarantee patients receive the full amount the medicines cost. He added that this would result in the Government having no incentive to solve the current issue.
Dr Muscat spoke about healthcare in Gozo, stipulating that further investment in the Gozo General Hospital is possible and will be undertaken by a PL Government.
With regards to the elderly, a new scheme will be set up where professionals, such as retired nurses, will deliver medicines to the homes of people aged 70 or over, have severe disability and those who have mobility issues, the PL leader said.
Lastly, Dr Muscat explained that the management situation at Mater Dei will be reviewed and will be changed in order to help improve efficiency. In this regard meetings between all those involved in healthcare will be held more frequently. Concluding, he said that a call centre will be set up which would give information relating to wait times and operation times.