Government to open GP clinic at Mater Dei

As from next January, all IVF services will be provided at Mater Dei Hospital

A long-term health strategy must also include a change in lifestyle, the way people balance work and life and their way of living, parliamentary secretary for health Chris Fearne said.

Addressing parliament on the budgetary vote for the parliamentary secretariat for health, Fearne said that the Labour government knew what the problems in the health sector were and it also knew what the solutions are.

“While others created these problems, we are here to solve them and the results are evident,” he said.

Fearne admitted that investment was needed to improve primary health care services and the government was seeking the involvement of the private sector for this aim. The government was also in discussion with the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses for the possibility of out-reach programmes within the community.

Fearne said the government had heavily invested to cut down the list of out-of-stock medicine, which was now down to just five from the 130 out-of-stock from the Pharmacy of Your Choice scheme while those at Mater Dei Hospital were cut from 200 to 30.

He confirmed that, as from next year, the government will start distributing medicines at home. Those who will benefit from this scheme will be the elderly and persons with mobility problems.

Fearne said the government was doing its utmost to drastically cut waiting lists, while noting that the government was looking at initiatives to make better use of underutilized resources.

“The difference between us and the previous administration is that we will do everything to solve this problem,” he said, denying that the government will not be making use of collective agreements. Earlier in the debate, PN MP Claudio Grech said the government had signed an agreement with six consultants to bypass provisions stipulated in a collective agreement for extra operations to take place.

Fearne admitted that a problem at the Emergency Department persisted and patients spent hours waiting to be seen by a doctor. The government is planning to open a GP clinic at Mater Dei for those cases which don’t require to be attended to by Emergency personnels.

“One of the main problems is that patients admitted to the Emergency Department do so because they don’t find their family doctor in the community. This will now be solved the opening of a GP clinic at Mater Dei,” he said.

He also confirmed that, as from next January, full IVF services will be provided at Mater Dei Hospital.