Health minister unaware of how many operations were postponed

Health minister Godfrey Farrugia doesn’t know how many operations were postponed over past week.

Over the past week, a number of operations at Mater Dei Hospital were deferred because of overcrowding, however health minister Godfrey Farrugia could not quantify these postponements.

On Wednesday, Farrugia explained that the overcrowding and patients needing long-term care occupying beds at MDH had caused 17 minor operations to be postponed by a week or two.

Farrugia noted that 45 beds occupied by long-term care patients were vacated over the weekend and insisted that the government has a three-year plan to address the shortage of beds at MDH.

However, while confirming that as of Monday morning 75 beds at MDH were vacant, Farrugia said "I do not know how many operations have been postponed over the past week," when asked for statistics related to operations.

Confirming that minor operations had been postponed, Farrugia would not confirm reports that up to 45 operations were postponed. 

"We're not talking about urgent operations. If anyone is suffering from a brain tumour we will obviously operate immediately, however if its something the patient can wait for, like a hernia operation, this is being postponed by a few weeks," Farrugia said adding that a balance has to be struck between security at the hospital and the patient's safety.

The health minister also pointed out that over and above the 50 new beds added at Mater Dei this year, the government will create 56 new beds in 2014 and a further 68 new beds in 2015. This would not only alleviate pressure on MDH, but it would also save the country money, Farrugia said.

He explained that a bed at a Mater Dei medical ward costs the taxpayer €240 a day, while the costs of a bed at St Vincent de Paule residency stood at €85 and a bed in a Public Private Partnership residency costs €75.

.Last week, the minister said 70 long-term care patients were occupying beds at Mater Dei Hospital because these patients have nowhere to go, however this morning Farrugia said that in cooperation with Karen Grech rehabilitation centre and the St Vincent de Paule residence the number had been drastically reduced.

Moreover,  between January and March 300 new beds will be created in the private sector.

This Minister has proven to be completely out of his depth from Day 1.
Don`t you hear the BOOM Of babies born of war Wake up ! Tsunami grows a stronger And it will be your DOOM.
Dear taxpayer, just read the 2nd para before last and WEEP!!!
How can he be aware if in this time of crisis the health minister was enjoying a short break abroad