Updated | ‘Hands off’ Mater Dei’s management, Dalli tells government

John Dalli against Godfrey Farrugia’s decision to set up office at Mater Dei Hospital.

John Dalli during this morning's presentation of the report.
John Dalli during this morning's presentation of the report.

During a lengthy presentation of the report on Mater Dei Hospital, former Nationalist minister John Dalli went at great lengths and detail to explain the shortcomings that have engulfed Malta's acute hospital.

The report, ‘Mater Dei Hospital: A Better Social Return’, has found that the primary problem was an inexistent management with all departments and stakeholders working on their own, disjointed from others.

Dalli, the government's health consultant, pinpointed a lack of coordination which were hindering the delivery of an efficient service.

While lauding the human resources and abilities of the healthcare professionals, he noted there was not the necessary management infrastructure that would oversee a smooth delivery of service.

"This is not an investigative report, but a report to define a problem. Mater Dei cannot be managed through the civil service.  I'm not here to point fingers at anyone," he said. "But we have to admit that there has been ongoing political interference which has rendered the management ineffective, following orders taken by the health ministry or Castille."

Dalli warned that the solution towards an efficient hospital was for government to keep its distance: "hands off... the responsibility of the hospital should be in the hands of its management".

This led to a disagreement between Dalli and Godfrey Farrugia on whether the minister should have an office at the hospital. Dalli insisted that Farrugia should have never set up the office as this would create a conflict on who should shoulder responsibility of decisions taken at Mater Dei. On the other hand, Farrugia defended his decision saying that when he took office, he found a huge gap between the hospital’s management and the employees.

“I wanted to give a strong signal that the gap should not be there, that I’m with the employees and professionals. As a former family doctor, the most important thing for me is the patient’s dignity,” the minister said.

As a result of this gap between the management and ground zero, Dalli’s report highlighted how trade unions filled the vacuum created by a weak HR management.

“Union leaders seem to think they should run the management of Mater Dei,” John Dalli said.

The report showed that €230 million - half of the ministry's budget - were directed at the hospital: €105 million were spent on salaries, €35m on medicines and supplies, €25m on contract services and €40 million on the depreciation of infrastructure and equipment.

While €105 million are spent on salaries, the report found that basic salaries amount to €67 million, with the remaining €37million being paid on overtime and allowances.

“Payroll at Mater Dei is conducted manually for almost 4,000 employees. There’s the need to introduce a new electronic system that would regulate the employees’ attendance, even because there is no direct relationship between overtime and increased activity,” Dalli said.

The former EU commissioner noted that the main reason for the shift from St Luke’s hospital to Mater Dei was to have a paradigm change, which unfortunately never took ground. Asked what happened to the reforms he introduced in 2008 as the minister responsible for Mater Dei, Dalli said that the question had to be asked to his successor who halted the reforms.

So everyone has the patient's dignity at heart but it seems no one KNOWS that if you go to certain specialist/consultant and pay the 60 or 65 euro fee for a private consultation, you will get a hospital appointment for a few weeks time instead of for a year or more. And what about the families living in poverty and cannot pay....or have they suddenly disappeared.
u l union komplici wkoll ghal dawn il hnizrijiet! u llum claudio grech kellhu il wicc tost jghid li dawn in nies jahdmu hekk ghax huma nies biezla! anki jien biezla fuq xogholi allura jista jitnehhili il punch clock u mux irrid nati rendikont ta kull minuta fejn inkun?! shame on all those involved in such an organised crime!
Please publish the whole report. Its a shame how the previous PN government was squandering our taxes. Its even worse that there are some trying to excuse the inexcusable. Its Simon D Simple mentality.
Proset John Dalli. Jien niskanta kif in-nazzjonalisti flok ma jiskuzaw ruhhom tast tberbiq iridu minfuq jiehdu ragun. Isthu.
“Union leaders seem to think they should run the management of Mater Dei,” John Dalli said." <<>> And that is the worse problem, and worse possible scenario any enterprise might face. How may workers manage themselves for the benefit of owners, which in this case is the whole Maltese nation? Impossible!!! Just refer to any Government Department or Parastatal organisation for an in-your-face answer. PM Muscat please take note and ACT fast.
Issa naraw kif se jinhattru dawk li se jkunu l-working group. Nispera ma jkunux l-istess nies li gwadanjaw l-eluf meta nxtraw l-apparat tal-isptar! (Li hafna minnu ghadu fil kaxxi sal gurnata tal-lum.)
All salaries should be calculated through palm readers which should be connected directly to the Treasury department wages system. Palm readers alone are enough since I saw people coming in to punch and immediately going out again on the excuse that they didn’t park correctly, and they go queue in some bank to deposit “whatever”. Then you can see them coming in at noon when they need to punch again, and they go back again before closing time. These people used to have the blessing and “approval” of their respective heads of dept. This abuse was carried out for months and only when surprised inspection by some higher entity used to stop for a while. Those who had some political backing used to continue and when surprise inspection was about to occur they used to be there. Since they had political attachment they used to be informed of such events. All government employees, whatever their grade should punch because all employees gets paid by the people’s taxes, whatever the department.
Dan il-bniedem bis-serjeta' qed jghid hekk? Mela hak allak veru tlifna is-sens komun.? Dan baqalu zejt f'wiccu jew le?