Huwa b'dispjacir li qed tinfetah din il-pagna fil-maltapolitics.com. Ghaliex? Ghax jien nemmen li hemm tlett affarijiet li l-gvern ghandu jaghti prijorita assoluta ghalihom. Dawn huma s-sahha, l-edukazzjoni u x-xoghol. Nerga ntenni li dawn ghandhom jinghataw prijorita ASSOLUTA. M'ghandux ikun hemm paroli fil-vojt dwar l-importanza ta' dawn l-oqsma. F'sezzjonijiet ohra ta' din is-site hemm bizzejjed taghrif dwar kemm il-gvern Nazzjonalista ta importanza lix-xoghol u l-edukazzjoni. Issa naraw safejn iwassal l-impenn tal-gvern Nazzjonalista fil-qasam tas-sahha. Hija tabilhaqq sfortuna li fil-qasam tas-sahha il-gvern Nazzjonalista ma mexiex sew. L-attegjament hazin tal-gvern f'dan il-qasam wassal ghal hafna tbatijiet ghal-poplu Malti u Ghawdxi. U t-tbatijiet m'humiex sempliciment b'mod morali jew finanzjarji imma b'mod fiziku ghax meta l-kura fl-isptarijiet u fil-komunita tmur lura, huwa l-marid l-aktar li jbaghti. Il-problemi f'dan il-qasam huma mifruxin fuq diversi oqsma ohra li jinkludu l-amministrazzjoni, il-finanzi, it-tobba u l-infermiera. Kull problema li tinholoq f'dawn l-oqsma tispicca taffettwa lill-marid jew direttament kif ukoll indirettament. Minhabba r-ruxmata problemi li jezistu fil-qasam tas-sahha, din il-pagna se tinqsam skond is-suggetti trattati fiha. Jekk din il-pagna m'ghandha twassal ghal xejn, nispera biss li dawk fil-poter tmisshom il-kuxjenza, iqumu wahda fuq taghhom u jaraw li s-sahha tal-poplu tinghata prijorita assoluta, il-boghod mill-piki politici, il-boghod mill-hela u tberbieq, il-boghod mill-mizuri finanzjarji li jrid idahhal il-Prim Ministru biex inaqqas l-ispejjez tal-gvern tieghu.
Tiftakru kemm kienu jitkazaw in-Nazzjonalisti meta l-gvern Laburista gieli kien jimpjega tobba barranin? X'ma qalux? Problemi dwar komunikazzjoni maghhom minhabba l-lingwa jew prattici medici differenti? Kollox kienu qalghu. Il-PN tela' fil-gvern fl-1987. Tahsbu li spiccaw it-tobba barranin?
F'Mejju 1993 kien hemm 50 tabib barrani.
F'Ottubru 1995 kien hemm 53 tabib barrani.
F'Marzu 2002 kien hemm 58 tabib barrani.
F’Novembru 2004 kien hemm 60 tabib barrani.
F’Ottubru 2009 kien hemm 66 tabib barrani.
Jekk kien hazin li kellna tobba barranin taht il-Labour, kif taht il-PN it-tobba barranin zdiedu?
Ejjew nibqghu fuq il-poliklinici. Tant dak li konna drajna bih taht il-Labour kien tkisser taht il-PN li ghax gie deciz li t-tabib f'poliklinika partikolari kien se jdum siegha u nofs aktar kuljum, kienet ahbar kbira. The Times f'Marzu 2003 bi prominenza habbret, “Doctor’s hours extended by an hour and a half each day at the Birkirkara health centre.” Il-ahwa kemm morna l-quddiem!! Jekk dan kien zvilupp kbir li jisthoqqlu gieh u nirraportawh fil-gazzetti allura kemm kien aktar eccellenti s-servizz taht gvern Laburista liema servizz kien ta' 24 siegha kuljum?
“The lack of staff at health centres is causing delays in service which add hardships to people who are already suffering, said Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Harry Vassallo. Speaking in front of the Gzira Health Centre yesterday, Dr Vassallo said the new Mater Dei Hospital in no way helped the health sector as it was afflicted with other problems such as the doctors’ mass exodus.”
The Malta Independent 21.2.2008
“It is a sad reality that successive Nationalist governments have neglected primary health care.”
The Times 25.7.2008
Kull servizz tas-sahha huwa provdut minn xi tip ta' haddiema. Hija haga ovvja li l-aktar zewg kategoriji ta' haddiema li huma ta' bzonn ghall-marid huma t-tobba u l-infermiera. Dan wiehed jista jifhmu ghax huma t-tabib u l-infermier li jiehdu hsieb direttament il-marid. Minghajr ma rrid innaqqas xejn mill-mertu tal-haddiema l-ohra li jahdmu fil-qasam tas-sahha, wiehed nahseb jaccetta li l-aktar zewg persuni importanti huma t-tabib u l-infermier li fil-fatt ifejqu lill-marid. Jekk allura wiehed jasal jaccetta l-importanza ta' dawn iz-zewg kategoriji ta' haddiema u li huma ndispensabbli ghall-livell ta' kura tajba, wiehed jirraguna li ghandhom ikollhom kundizzjonijiet ta' xoghol tajbin. Li jkollok kundizzjonijiet ta' xoghol dicenti mhux bizzejjed. Sabiex ikollok tabib u infermier kuntent fix-xoghol trid taghtih kundizzjonijiet tajbin anke jekk hemm bzonn ikunu ahjar minn ta' haddiehor. Dan mhux b'xi sens ta' disprezz lejn haddiema ohrajn imma bhala rikonoxximent tar-rwol importantissimu li ghandhom lejn il-marid. Galadarba wiehed jifhem li t-tobba u l-infermiera ghandhom ikollhom kundizzjonijiet ta' xoghol tajbin, ma jistax wiehed jifhem kif allura it-tobba u l-infermiera jithallew jahdmu f'ambjent hazin, b'kundizzjonijiet tal-misthija. Jekk irridu naghtu l-ahjar servizz lill-marid irridu bilfors naraw li dawk li qeghdin jikkurawh qed ikunu kuntenti fix-xoghol u ghandhom l-ghodda biex jahdmu. Meta allura ghandna gvern li ilu s-snin jaghtiha ghal-hela', kif ma' dawn in-nies jixxahhah u jitqammel? Mhux tabilhaqq tal-misthija li jkollok infermiera jghidulek li l-anqas affarijiet bazici m'ghandhom bhal faxex u garzi? Mhux tal-misthija li l-ambjent tal-isptar generali qisu wiehed ta' xi sptar tat-tielet dinja? Iffaccjati b'dawn il-kundizzjonijiet, ma tistax tlum lit-tobba u l-infermiera li l-hin kollu igergru. Anke l-ilmenti taghhom jispiccaw jaqghu fuq widnejn torox ghax l-awtoritajiet jew m'ghandhomx interess jisimghuhom inkella m'ghandomx il-finanzi sabiex jimplimentaw dawk il-mizuri ta' titjib li t-tobba u l-infermiera ilhom snin jitolbu ghalihom. Jien ma nistax ma nikkompatix dawn il-haddiema li dahhlu ghal-vokazzjoni tant nobbli imma li ma' wicchom isibu tant ostakoli. Minn naha l-ohra jien ma nasalx biex naqbel ma' azzjonijiet industrijali li jistghu ibaghtu minnhom il-morda fl-isptarijiet. Inhoss li zball ma jirrangax zball iehor. Huwa zball li l-gvern jinjora lit-tobba u l-infermiera imma imbaghad m'ghandniex nassistu ghal zball akbar meta dawn tal-ahhar johorgu fuq strike. Jien la qbilt meta saru strikes taht gvern Laburista u l-anqas meta saru taht gvern Nazzjonalista ghax ghalija l-marid jigi l-ewwel. Jekk tabib u infermier telaq minn hdejn il-marid sabiex jiehu azzjoni ndustrijali, ghalija jkun qisu ttradixxa lill-marid. Minn naha l-ohra nerga ntenni li ma jistax ikun li dawn in-nies jibqghu jaqalghu fuq rashom u jigu umiljati kif se jigi spjegat hawnhekk.
Il-union li tirraprezenta lit-tobba (il-MAM) kemm il-darba canfret lill-gvern Nazzjonalista dwar il-kundizzjonijiet hziena tat-tobba li jahdmu fis-servizz pubbliku. L-istess ghamlet il-union li tirraprezenta lill-infermiera u qwiebel (MUMN).
F'Settembru tal-1992 il-MAM akkuzat lill-gvern hekk, "The MAM is accusing the government of going back on its words and promises."- editorjal, ta' The Times. U kompliet, "The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) says that as a result of fruitless negotiations with the (Nationalist) government, the morale of its 500 members had plummeted and that it held the government responsible for any deterioration in services resulting from such demoralization." Dan habbritu The Times.
Minkejja tahdidiet li saru bejn il-gvern u l-MAM u minkejja qbil li sar, kien jidher li ghal-gvern dan kien biss bicca karta, tant li f'April tal-1993 il-MAM regghet harget kontra l-gvern b'aktar sahha. "The apparent inability of the government side to deliver what it appears to agree to or to what it has given its solemn word." Dan kien rapport ta' The Times.
Tant ir-relazzjonijiet bejn il-gvern Nazzjonalista u l-MAM hzienu li sa Mejju 1993, il-President tal-MAM habbar li, "The association confirmed that a state of dispute now existed between MAM and government. Unfortunately mediocrity has become the norm in health." Din l-akkuza kienet serja hafna fejn il-falliment tas-servizz tas-sahha taht il-gvern Nazzjonalista hareg fil-miftuh. Wiehed stenna li jittiehdu l-passi necessarji minn naha tal-awtoritajiet sabiex jigu impjegati l-infermiera li kien hemm bzonn. Ma sar xejn minn dan tant li sas-sena 1995 il-president tal-MAM ilmenta dwar, "Chronic shortage of nurses." Dan f'Marzu tal-1995.
Xahrejn wara rega hareg il-president tal-MAM u qal, "Doctors are disillusioned. They were never approached to discuss health reforms." Dan habritu The Malta Independent.
Il-problemi komplew. Meta l-MLP ha l-gvern f'idejh fl-1996 sab sitwazzjoni hazina hafna. Mhux se nikwota x'qal li sab il-ministru tas-sahha tal-gvern Laburista, se nerga nikwota il-MAM dwar kif kienet is-sitwazzjoni tas-servizz tas-sahha f'Lulju tal-1996, "Current work conditions did not encourage doctors to remain in government health services and junior doctors are being overloaded with work to the detriment of patients." Dan kien thabbar f'The Times.
Sfortunatament ftit seta jaghmel il-gvern Laburista fi 22 xahar u fl-1998 rega' tela' l-PN fil-gvern … u komplejna bil-problemi. "National health service doctors are demoralised and frustrated and in that state cannot offer their best service." Hekk qalet Dr. Myra Tilney segretarja generali tal-MAM f'Settembru 1999 u kif thabbar f'The Times. It-tobba komplew jirrizenjaw minn mal-gvern minhabba l-kundizzjonijiet tax-xoghol tant li f'Mejju 2000 The Times regghet ikkwotat lill-MAM li qalet, "The number of doctors at St. Luke’s hospital is dropping to critical levels."
Is-sitwazzjoni baqghet hazina u l-gvern Nazzjonalista ma wera l-ebda impenn biex itejjeb is-servizz tas-sahha u l-kundizzjonijiet tax-xoghol ghax kien mohhu biss fis-shubija fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Il-MAM ma kellha l-ebda triq ohra hlief li terga tilmenta, "Working conditions at St. Luke’s are very bleak and inhumane." qalet u giet ikkwotata minn The Malta Independent f'April 2001. Rega ma sar xejn minn naha tal-gvern. Bis-sitwazzjoni tkompli tihzien, sa Novembru tal-istess sena il-MAM informat lil kulhadd li, "An alarming number of doctors were considering leaving the accident and emergency department at St. Luke’s due to the poor working conditions." Din thabbret f'The Times tas-17 ta' Novembru.
Ir-rizultat ta' dan kollu wiehed seta jbassru. It-tobba ma felhux aktar. F'Dicembru tal-2001 il-MAM akkuzat lill-gvern hekk, "It is the government that does not really believe in industrial peace." Dan qalu l-president tal-MAM kif irrapurtat The Times tal-15 ta' Dicembru. Il-MAM sabet li ma kellix triq ohra u bdiet taghti direttivi lit-tobba biex jiehdu certi azzjonijiet industrijali. Meta ma kien hemm l-ebda rispons mill-gvern, l-MAM harxet l-azzjonijiet. "MAM issues more hard-hitting directives to doctors to come into force on Monday 17 December 2001" habbret The Times fil-15 ta' Dicembru. "Doctors’ action starts to bite." habbret bi prominenza The Times fit-18 ta' Dicembru. U l-azzjonijiet infirxu, "MAM extends industrial action to other hospitals." The Times tal-21 ta' Dicembru. The Times ghamlet stharrig dwar kif kien jahsiba l-poplu dwar il-kwistjoni u hareg li, "52% think government is not doing enough to solve the impasse in the doctors’ strike." Dan kien f'nofs Jannar tal-2002.
Ovvjament kulhadd beda jaghti l-opinjoni tieghu dwar din il-qaghda serja. Laqatni kumment ta' The Malta Independent on Sunday tat-13 ta' Jannar fejn qalet li, "Health minister Dr. Louis Deguara is not in touch with reality." Kliem iebes imma li kien jirrifletti il-pozizzjoni tal-gvern Nazzjonalista.
Fi Frar 2005 komplejna bil-problema tat-tobba u l-appointment letter taghhom. The Times tal-10 ta’ Frar irrapurtat li, “The Medical Association of Malta said yesterday it was ready to take industrial action over the government's failure to issue letters of appointment to a number of doctors, among other issues. The association is lamenting the fact that some doctors have been denied their letters of appointment even though they obtained their post graduate qualifications, passed the Public Service Commission selection process and were assigned more responsibility. At the same time a number of vacancies across many specialities have remained unadvertised, despite the availability of trained personnel, notably in the accident and emergency department, the MAM said.”
Nibqghu fi Frar u l-MAM qalet, “The doctors' dispute revolves around the government's decision to "freeze the appointments of doctors", which Dr Balzan described as "simply illogical" in view of the current "severe medical manpower shortfall". The association complains that a number of newly graduated doctors and others with post-graduate qualifications have been denied their letters of appointment, and a number of vacancies across many specialities have remained unfilled.” Dr. Martin Balzan hu s-segretarju generali tal-assocjazzjoni. Irrapurtat The Times.
F’Lulju l-MAM qalet, “Doctors are "grossly underpaid," the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) claimed yesterday. It said this was why the Health Division was finding it hard to retain highly trained members of the medical profession.” Irrapurtat The Times.
S'issa rajna s-sitwazzjoni fejn jidhlu t-tobba. L-infermiera ma tantx kienu ahjar minnhom. Il-union tal-infermiera u qwiebel (MUMN) tat kemm il-darba informazzjoni dwar min x'hiex jghaddu l-haddiema li hi tirraprezenta. F'Novembru tal-1996 l-MUMN habbret, "The shortage of nurses and midwives in the public service has reached alarming proportions." ara The Times tat-22 tax-xahar. Fl-2001 kompliet, "The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses claims that St. Luke’s is not a clean hospital … overcrowding of patients in the wards today has become almost a normal and acceptable event ... Patients are being deprived of privacy and adequate care." Dan habbritu The Malta Independent tal-14 ta' Mejju kif l-istess ghamlet The Times tal-istess gurnata taht it-titlu, "The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses comments on state of neglect at St. Luke’s hospital."
F'Settembru mbaghad l-MUMN qalet, "A number of enrolled nurses have had a substantial reduction in their salaries without warning." ara The Sunday Times tat-2 tax-xahar. F'Novembru The Times habbret li, "Nurses at St. Vincent de Paule residence on work-to-rule over intolerable working conditions."
Sas-sena 2003 l-affarijiet baqghu hziena tant li l-MUMN f'Awwissu qalet, "Nurses working in the public health system are suffering from serious shortages and high stress." dan kien hareg minn stharrig li ghamlet il-union innifisha liema rizultat gie ppubblikat f'The Times tal-20 tax-xahar. U l-MUMN ilmentat ukoll li, "The government had closed all doors to negotiations." U f'Dicembru rajna li, "The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, the Union Haddiema Maghqudin and the General Workers Union yesterday expressed concern at what they described as "the current dangerous situation" prevailing for some weeks now at Mount Carmel Hospital." skond The Sunday Times tat-28 tax-xahar.
Il-problema tan-nuqqas ta’ infermiera fis-servizz tas-sahha filwaqt li infermiera gradwati m’ghandhomx xoghol wassal ghal protesta quddiem Kastilja. “Newly qualified nurses who have not yet been employed by the government yesterday protested in front of the Auberge de Castille in Valletta. Holding placards with messages such as 'Finance takes priority over health' and 'Being stingy on health to spend on other things', the nurses stood behind Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) president Rudolph Cini while he voiced the union's concerns.” Ara The Times 23.11.2004
Fi Frar 2005 il-Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses heddedt li tiehu azzjoni industrijali. “after it claimed the agreement regarding the nursing compliment in the surgical wards is not being respected. In a letter sent yesterday, the MUMN said it could not understand why restrictions are being made on the number of nurses to be present in the surgical wards considering that more patients are being transferred to the wards in an effort to deal with the problem of overcrowding. he union said it cannot accept this situation. In the letter, the MUMN said that the increase in the number of patients in each ward should be reflected in an increase in the number of nurses.” Dan habbritu The Malta Independent tas-7 ta’ Frar. Difficli biex ma taqbilx mall-MUMN fuq din il-kwistjoni ghalkemm nerga ntenni li jien ghandi riservi kbar fejn jidhlu azzjonijiet industrijali fil-qasam tas-sahha.
F’Settembru imbaghad l-MUMN qalet, “nurses were having their salaries unjustly reduced and they were not getting a statement on their vacation leave and time off in lieu to which they were entitled.” Dan ir-rapport hareg f’The Times tal-24 ta’ Settembru.
F’Novembru 2007, infetah il-Mater Dei ghal-pazjenti u mill-ewwel bdew il-problemi. Aqraw rapport ta’ The Times tad-29 ta’ Novembru. Mater Dei Hospital could be facing its first industrial action by medical staff upset at the catering arrangements in the brand new hospital. The nurses' union is giving government a week to come up with a solution before calling industrial action while the doctors' association is also close to registering an industrial dispute. Several hundred nurses and midwives, who used to enjoy free meals at St Luke's Hospital, are no longer being granted this benefit after the government brought into force a circular published back in 1989 but which had lain dormant since. The President of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, Paul Pace, described this as tantamount to a deterioration in working conditions. In a statement the Health Ministry said that whoever is entitled to free meals is not going to lose such a benefit. However, it seemed that some persons who were never entitled to free meals had been taking them in the past but could no longer do so at Mater Dei because of a strict control system, the ministry said. Discussions over who would be entitled to free meals had taken place before the migration to Mater Dei had begun. But the ministry was still willing to meet the MUMN to discuss the matter. The Medical Association of Malta's general secretary Martin Balzan said that although attempts had been made to iron out the problem with the hospital management, the association was losing patience. “If management fails to deliver, we will also take action,” he said. The situation was much worse than at St Luke's Hospital, he said, where all doctors on duty were entitled to a free meal. Since the collective agreement coming into force in January stipulates that all doctors are entitled to a free meal, the association did not see why currently, only those working a 24-shift are entitled to free meals. This was unacceptable, Dr Balzan said. In a news conference yesterday morning, Mr Pace explained that the circular at the centre of the controversy stated that only nurses and midwives working 10-hour shifts and those working directly with patients were entitled to free staff meals. This clearly showed the management's lack of appreciation for these people's work. “The MUMN has always objected to this circular because it is discriminatory and does not make sense, but the hospital management has regularly refused to discuss it.” To make matters worse, Mr Pace said, not only have a good number of nurses and midwives ended up without meals, but neither do they have access to water and squashes which are available in other hospitals and which they had at St Luke's. The staff at the Outpatients Department were no longer getting free coffee and sugar. Those entitled to free staff meals have moreover complained that the portions are so small that they are being asked to choose between potatoes and vegetables. Bread is not being served with meals. The Ministry insisted, however, that the quality of food given to the staff was better than that given at St Luke's Hospital, and the portions were given according to established criteria. Mr Pace also complained that the computer system is not working properly and after queuing for a considerable part of their break, a number of staff members are being told they have already eaten. He added that prices in the canteen are not subsidised and are higher than other food outlets catering for workers. “Nurses and midwives are fed up at the way they are being treated,” he said, adding that the union has been sending its complaints to the Health Division, which was in turn blaming the Department of Contracts. Engaging a private contractor for the provision of meals might have been the wrong decision, he noted. The union has already registered an industrial dispute with the Health Division and is giving it until next week to come up with a written assurance that the situation will change. Otherwise the union would order industrial action affecting the whole hospital. No action was being excluded, he said.
F’Dicembru kien imiss lill-infermiera Ghawdxin jilmentaw. The Malta Independent qalet, “Nurses and midwives at the Gozo General Hospital are complaining at the food they are served at the hospital, with their union, the MUMN, lodging a protest on their behalf. The union said that in the last five months servings were of canned beef and fatty ham with hard peas, beans and carrots. The later meal would be made up of overcooked pasta and, very often, tough meat. The chips would have been done in the morning. In October, the union said, they were told cereals would be bought, as was in fact done, but no cereals were ever served. Had they disappeared, it wondered, calling for a serious inquiry. It warned that if the situation did not improve it would resort to action.”
F’Ottubru 2008, l-MUMN ordnat azzjonijiet industrijali minhabba, “Disgruntled nurses and midwives will be taking industrial action today to protest against the shortage of staff and the continuing failure to provide staff meals. Nurses are also livid that the professional warrant, which had been promised to them in the collective agreement signed a year ago, has never materialised.”
F’Mejju 2006 l-Assocjazzjoni tal-Pedjatrici Maltin harget fil-pubbliku it-thassib taghha dwar il-kundizzjonijiet tax-xoghol. Di-ve news irraporta: “The Maltese Paediatric Association (MPA) has urged the authorities to increase the complement of paediatricians in order to provide uninterrupted on-site cover for the Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (SCBU) whilst enabling paediatricians to safely attend to other emergencies in the hospital. The Association said that the SCBU continues to be staffed by only one paediatrician for periods extending from 1700hrs to 0000hrs despite the ever increasing difficulties being met and the complexity of medical care. During an Extraordinary General Meeting convened on Thursday, the MPA also called on the authorities to ensure that all doctors on-duty are allowed compensatory rest so as to safeguard their health and safety and that of their patients and to prevent further losses of highly trained paediatricians resulting from resignation from their posts as a consequence of their appalling and deteriorating work conditions.”
Wara li f’Novembru fetah il-Mater Dei, il-problemi gew trasferiti minn St. Luke’s ghall-isptar gdid. The Malta Independent irrapurtat hekk, “The Union Haddiema Maghqudin said it would be constrained to take industrial action if something was not done immediately to remedy the difficulties faced by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in the Mater Dei Hospital’s Outpatients Department. The primary problem was the shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at the Outpatients’ Pharmacy, it said. This situation was creating unnecessary suffering for these workers, who were also finding it hard to take their vacation leave. The UHM is also appealing to the Department of Health to implement suggestions that were discussed by the union and which the department appeared to agree with.”
Ma nistax nibda din il-pagna minghajr ma nfakkar fil-weghda grandjuza ta' Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami ta' qabel l-elezzjoni tal-1987. Il-weghda fantastika tat-tabib b'xejn!! Il-weghda kienet cara bizzejjed. In-Nazzjonalisti kienu ikkommettew ruhhom li jdahlu sistema fejn jien u int ingibu t-tabib preferut taghna … imbaghad ihallas il-gvern. Min jaf kemm eluf ta' nies belghu din il-lixka. X'sar minnu t-tabib b'xejn? Mhux talli m'ghandniex sitwazzjoni li ngibu liema tabib irridu ahna b'xejn, talli r-realta hi li jekk iggib it-tabib privat tieghek trid thallsu int u jekk iccempel il-poliklinika taf ma ssib tabib xejn!! Jien nahseb li mhux tabib b'xejn riedu jghidu imma TABIB XEJN. Il-mod imbazwar ta' kif riedu jdahlu din is-sistema, u n-nuqqas ta' hegga tal-gvern Nazzjonalista wara l-1987 effettivament irrizultat li kollox miet fuq ommu. Il-gvern minflok hareg b'alternattivi prattici u effettivi, ceda kollox u qatel l-istess idea li ghenitu jirbah l-elezzjoni tal-1987. The Malta Independent f'Settembru tal-1992 qalet, "The tabib b'xejn scheme, a banner cry of the Nationalist Party's pre-1987 electoral programme, has been in the throes of discussion for more than five years. It has met with widespread resistance, and doctors generally consider it to be unworkable and that it opens the door to the possibility of abuse and corruption." L-iskema spiccat mietet u ndifnet u l-marid baqa minghajr tabib b'xejn.
Dawk li segwew lil Dr. Fenech Adami qabel l-elezzjoni tal-1987, nahseb jiftakru bil-kritika qawwija li kien jaghmel kontinwament kontra l-gvern Laburista dak iz-zmien immexxi minn Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici. Ghal min nesa', fi zmien gvern Laburista, il-poliklinici (mizura tas-sahha mibdija mill-gvern Laburista) kienu jifthu lejl u nhar 24 siegha kuljum, b'tabib il-hin kollu ghall-lest ikun x'hin ikun. Dr. Fenech Adami ma kienx kuntent b'dan, ried jivvinta xi haga fuq x'hiex jeqred. Allura ddecieda li jikritika l-gvern ta' Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici ghax (se nikwotah ezatt), "Ma jistax ikun li tmur il-poliklinika u darba ssib tabib u darba issib iehor." Dan kien kliem Dr. Fenech Adami nnifsu waqt dibattitu mal-istess Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici fuq it-television waqt il-kampanja elettorali tal-1987. Mela Dr. Fenech Adami ried li tmur meta tmur il-poliklinika ssib l-istess tabib. Sakemm Dr. Fenech Adami gie biex jirtira mill-politika fl-2004, il-poliklinici hallihom rebus tant li l-poliklinici jifthu biss bir-roster, it-tabib jigik id-dar jekk tkun se tmut u m'ghandek l-ebda garanzija li ssib tabib jekk tkur il-poliklinika. Fi ftit kliem il-gvern ta' Dr. Fenech Adami qaleb kollox ta' taht fuq u s-sistema tajba li konna drajna biha ghal snin twal taht il-Labour, spiccat irmied.
S'issa rajna il-kwistjonijiet tat-tobba u l-infermiera minhabba l-kundizzjonijiet tax-xoghol taghhom. Imma hemm ragunijiet ohra ghalxiex dawn il-haddiema jilmentaw u sahansitra jaslu sabiex jiehdu azzjonijiet industrijali. L-ambjent li fih jahdmu u li fil-fatt hu l-istess ambjent li fih jinsabu l-morda fl-isptarijiet huwa wkoll raguni ta' thassib. Kull min mar St. Luke's u Mater Dei jaf x'qieghed nghid. Li s-sitwazzjoni fl-isptarijiet tal-gvern hija hazina ma nghidux jien biss, imma …
“Habiba li kienet l-isptar dan l-ahhar issorprendiet ruhha li l-ispecjalista ried jibghatha d-dar malajr. Meta pprotestat ma' l-ispecjalista malajr qallha, "ahjar tohrog ghax minn hawn xi infezzjoni tista ddabbar” - Il-Gens tal-20 ta' Dicembru.
“Criticism may be levelled at St. Luke's Hospital...” editorjal ta' The Malta Independent tat-22 ta' Novembru.
“I can hardly believe that Boffa hospital is still without a blood testing machine! It costs Lm30,000, the turnover of a small factory over a couple of months! The money is being collected through a nationwide campaign called cash for cancer. It borders on the ridiculous!”. John Benedict kiteb f'The Sunday Times tas-6 ta' Dicembru.
“Professor Rizzo Naudi (Parliamentary Secretary for Health) admitted that in summer due to the fact that (St. Luke's) building was old, cockroaches did make an appearance. Professor Frederick Fenech said that files and test results had been lost.” irrapurtat The Sunday Times tas-7 ta' Novembru. Anke l-problema tal-wirdien fl-isptar ppruvaw jaghtuha ftit kulur sabih, “make an appearance” qal Profs Rizzo Naudi, bilkemm ma riedx jghid li l-wirdien johorgu biex jaghmlu “show” u wara li jkunu lestew jidhlu gewwa!!
“A study of airborne bacteria at St. Luke's has found that many areas... have a much higher count of bacteria colony forming units per metre cubed than standards set by the World Health Organization. Its conclusions mean there is a higher risk of infection, leading to longer hospitalization.” Rapport inkwetanti f'The Times tad-19 t'April.
“Id-dehra generali ta' l-isptar (San Luqa) timbuttak. Arja ta' hmieg, ta' traskuragni, ta' kollox jghaddi.” Hekk kiteb korrispondent f'Il-Gens tad-9 ta' Settembru.
U x'qal Toni Mallia editur ta' In-Nazzjon fil-harga tad-29 ta' Settembru? Halli nikwotah ezatt …
Fl-isptar San Luqa...
- ghaliex in-nurses ta' bil-lejl iridu jqattghu l-hobz ghal filghodu?
- ghaliex it-tindif isir b'nofs qalb u dak li hemm bzonn jew inqas?
- ghaliex b'barmil ilma wiehed idellku sala shiha?
- ghaliex it-tubi u l-fannijiet jithallew jigmghu tant trab?
- ghaliex ma ssirx manutenzjoni regolari, sular wara l-iehor?
- ghaliex dik il-konfuzjoni fl-out patients?
- ghaliex il-hin ta' l-appuntament irid izommu l-pazjent imma t-tabib le?
- ghaliex il-bjankerija hi mtebba u mqatta?
“St. Luke's is a disaster. Equipment in some departments is outdated, beds are old and sometimes even give way, thermometers are scarce so that often one is shared by about 10 patients.” Intervista ta' The Malta Independent tal-14 ta' Mejju mat-tobba.
“Child mistakenly operated on wrong eye.” ahbar xokkanti f'The Times tal-5 ta' Lulju.
“Patients with broken bones taken (to St. Luke's) by relatives not by ambulance are sometimes kept waiting for hours before they are seen to.” Irrapurtat The Malta Independent tal-14 t'April.
“A large number of patients in St. Vincent de Paul complex for the elderly are being left alone on their death bed because of the severe shortage of staff.” Ahbar xokkanti ohra f'The Malta Independent tat-30 ta' Gunju.
“Judge rules that the director-general for health should be very worried about his department’s double standards.” Ahbar li dehret f'The Times tat-12 t'Awwissu.
“The medical wards at St. Luke’s are so overcrowded that some new admissions with genuine conditions are being put in the corridors due to lack of space.” Hekk ammetta Dr. Frank Bartolo l-amministratur mediku ta' St. Luke’s f'The Times tas-17 ta' Frar.
“Patients and former patients of Mount Carmel Hospital paid to clean the hospital.” Habbret il-UHM f'The Times tat-22 ta' Mejju. Fejn jekk mhux f'Malta jigru dawn l-affarijiet??
“70 patients were accommodated in the corridors at St. Luke’s on 21st January 2002.” habbret The Times gurnata wara.
“28-inch television set falls on the head of a 74-year-old woman hours after undergoing major surgery. Patient dies hours later from “natural causes”. qrajna f'The Times tat-8 t'Awwissu.
“Medical wards at St. Luke’s Hospital are so overcrowded that patients are being kept in corridors. Nine women, some of them in critical condition were hospitalised in a ward corridor last Thursday.” Ikkonfermat is-sitwazzjoni hazina The Malta Independent on Sunday tal-5 ta' Jannar.
Galadarba qeghdin fuq is-suggett tal-ambjent tax-xoghol ma nistghux ma nsemmux in-nuqqas ta' protezzjoni li t-tobba ghandhom specjalment fis-sezzjoni tal-emergenza ta' St. Lukes. Xbajna nisimghu rapporti dwar attakki vjolenti kontra t-tobba u infermiera. Suppost fl-emergenza hemm pulizija stazzjonat il-hin kollu 24 siegha kuljum imma f'The Malta Independent tad-9 ta' Lulju 2004 qrajna …, “Two doctors were violently attacked early yesterday morning around 12.30am at the accident and emergency department in St. Luke’s hospital. … the female doctor assessing the patient, found that there was no justification for her admission, to which the patient went into a frenzied rage and dragged the doctor along the department’s corridor by her hair. The man accompanying the patient punched another doctor in the face. The doctor, described as a veteran with some 25 years of experience, was merely trying to calm the situation. The man apparently stopped at the single punch, however it took four nurses to restrain the woman. … the Hamrun police station was also called for help, however there was no response, sources said.” Kif jistghu it-tobba u l-infermiera jibqghu jahdmu f'dan l-ambjent?
Tahsbu li ghal xejn in-nies ma jridux imorru St. Luke's? Is-sitwazzjoni fis-sajf tal-2004 kienet hekk: “Shortages of basic necessities such as bandages and suppositories are ‘becoming the order of the day’ in the medical wards of St Luke's Hospital as nurses battle to do their job despite being understaffed. The situation is further exacerbated by the problem of overcrowding, with nurses often having to face the wrath of unfortunate patients who line the corridors with no privacy. ‘Because of overcrowding, some patients have to lie on old, rickety beds (which are not adjustable) with no privacy. We have to wash the patient in full view. Patients are being stripped of their dignity,’ one nurse said. This nurse is one of about 40 who yesterday walked out on strike for two hours between 9.30 and 11.30 a.m. to protest the deteriorating situation in the wards.” – The Sunday Times 29.8.2004
F’Jannar, fi stqarrija ghall-istampa, it-taqsima Health Services tal-UHM giet ikkwotata li, “it would resort to industrial actions since hygiene conditions at the St. Luke's Hospital Pathology Department were not improved.”
Fi Frar, f’editorjal ta’ The Malta Independent, - l-editur ma qadx idur mall-lewza, qal, “All is not well at St Luke’s Hospital.”
Fl-istess xahar, The Times ikkwotat lil MAM li, “overcrowding at the hospital has nearly reached critical levels.”
F’April qrajna dwar is-sitwazzjoni gravi fil-qasam tal-operazzjonijiet li jsiru St. Luke’s. l-MAM qalet, “a large number of operations at St Luke's Hospital have been postponed due to overcrowding in medical wards and a shortage of anaesthetists. Patients may have to wait from a few weeks to up to two years for an operation but since the beginning of the year their waiting has been prolonged because foreign anaesthetists have left Malta to seek greener pastures in the European Union. The government needs to recognise that the medical manpower shortage is getting worse by the day. There is a very serious brain drain going on, as more and more doctors become disillusioned by unsatisfactory conditions of work.”
Is-serjeta tas-sitwazzjoni giet fil-fatt ikkonfermata mill-Ministru tas-Sahha Dr. Louis Deguara li fil-parlament gie kkwotat li qal, “A total of 221 operations falling under the headings of general surgery, paediatrics, ENT, urology, neurosurgery and plastic surgery were postponed between January and April this year because of overcrowding at St Luke's Hospital. … an average 12 major surgeries per week in the Orthopaedic Department also had to be postponed. These postponements, which had been planned beforehand, started on January 9. No operations were cancelled. All the patients are being given new appointments. … the list of non-urgent operations totals 354 for hip replacement and 948 for knee replacement. Waiting time is of about two years, depending also on the patients' medical condition and the availability of consultants. … 3,117 persons are awaiting ophthalmic operations. Waiting time is between 18 and 30 months.”
Skond il-Ministru tas-sahha Louis Deguara, f’Ottubru kien hemm 56 pazjent fil-kuriduri ta’ St. Luke’s
The distraught parents of an 18-month girl have been awarded €60,500 in compensation after a court found that medical negligence led to the death of their daughter. Sandro Portelli and Doreen Psaila had sued the Chief Medical Officer and two doctors. They explained to the court how in July 2005 they rushed their daughter Mireille to the Pediatrics Unit at the Emergency Department at St.Luke's hospital five times after she was taken ill. They were assured that there was nothing alarming about the child's condition and were advised to go back home.
Timesofmalta.com Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 16:05
“The nurses working in the medicine wards at St. Luke's Hospital cannot guarantee a high level of service under the current conditions, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) said. … The situation, the MUMN added, is a precarious one. Patients are being stripped of their human dignity, and besides the ordeal of their medical condition they are also having to face the psychological trauma of the mediocre environment where they are being given treatment.” – rapport ta’ Di-ve news tal-20 ta’ Jannar.
F’Novembru, il-Ministru tas-Sahha Louis Deguara qal fil-parlament li fi tlett ijiem aktar kmieni fl-istess xahar kien hemm 45 kaz ta’ food poisoning f’St. Luke’s.
F’Jannar, l-MAM taghtna aktar informazzjoni inkwetanti dwar is-servizz tas-sahha; “doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with a growing demand for their services and has appealed to the authorities to be more sensitive to the needs of patients. There were long queues for practically all the medical services, particularly at the Accident and Emergency Department at St Luke's Hospital and in health centres, where patients often had to wait for hours. … Waiting lists for outpatient appointments and for any surgical procedure had become unacceptably long. For example, for a hip replacement, the waiting time was five years. … These long waiting times and lists are a consequence of the shortage of doctors and inadequate planning over the years. … the authorities insist that health centre doctors should see one patient every four minutes. … Malta was losing more than half of its doctors. … Only in Malta does the government seem content to ignore the problem and let the health system collapse.”
F’April imbaghad kelna kaz iehor ta’ gastroenteritis f’St. Luke’s. “A total of 60 people, mostly patients and a few members of medical staff, fell ill when a wave of gastroenteritis broke out in St Luke’s Hospital more than a week ago. A spokesperson at St Luke’s Hospital confirmed with this newspaper that the outbreak did take place but that action was taken on the same day. Although the spokesperson did not specify the source of the outbreak reported on Friday 27 April, he said that it has been successfully contained and the Public Health department is still awaiting results. The affected patients were isolated and placed in ward M4 until they recovered. Members of medical staff who fell sick were released from their duties to reduce contagion as much as possible.” Ara The Malta Independent on Sunday 6.5.2007
F’Ottubru, The Times qalet ezatt hekk, “Helen Muscat, a founder of the Action for Breast Cancer Foundation, pointed out that they are not receiving the best treatment available from the government. The most notable example is Herceptin treatment, which is effective in one fifth of breast cancer cases. This is not made available by the government and the drug therapy costs Lm16,000. … This sad situation explains why an EU-wide health consumer index ranking public health services in the EU shows that Malta's delay in providing new cancer drugs for its patients contributed to it slipping to the 20th place from the 13th position it occupied in the same survey last year.”
Wara li f’Novembru, il-pazjenti bdew dehlin fil-Mater Dei, il-problemi ma damux biex jinqalghu. Dan rapport ta’ The Times, “Medical consultants have reiterated their concern over the shortage of acute beds in medical wards at Mater Dei, which they have warned may lead to a crisis in the winter months, when the daily average patient intake increases considerably. Medical Association of Malta president Martin Balzan has told The Sunday Times that consultants believed that the shortage of beds in medical wards would result in patients having to take up more surgical beds, which would lead to the cancellation of elective operations and lengthen waiting lists. In his reaction to the statement issued by the Department of Information following a story carried on The Sunday Times on the shortage of hospital beds, Dr Balzan insisted that “fine-tuning of management planning is needed to avert a crisis in beds at Mater Dei Hospital, rather than laying the blame on doctors”.
Fl-ewwel jiem tal-2008, il-UHM qalet, “We have been complaining about chronic understaffing for years. We held off the actions during the migration period but now, seeing we got no positive response from the authorities to our requests, we had no alternative but to call these actions.” (The Times 5.1.2008) Kaz car ta’ sptar gdid bi problemi qodma. Sitwazzjoni li gabet maghha azzjonijiet industrijali ftit gimghat biss wara li dahlu l-pazjenti fil-Mater Dei.
Meta tqis li l-PN kien ilu kwazi 20 sena fil-poter, is-sitwazzjoni tac-Centri tas-Sahha kif kienu fl-2008 huwa ta’ ghajb kbir ghan-Nazzjonalisti. Harry Vassallo qal hekk fl-20 ta’ Frar, “The lack of staff at health centres is causing delays in service which add hardships to people who are already suffering … the new Mater Dei Hospital in no way helped the health sector as it was afflicted with other problems such as the doctors’ mass exodus.”
Fil-bidu ta’ Settembru imbaghad gara dak li hadd ma stenna. Fi sptar generali state-of-the-art, infermiera sabet ras ta’ gurdien fl-ikel li tawha tiekol fil-canteen!
Candidus II li kiteb f’The Times tat-2 ta’ Frar irraporta hekk, “The parents of an 11-year-old boy who requires an urgent test normally carried out at the paediatric day ward, and which requires a six-hour stay in hospital, were told the test cannot be done straightaway because the ward has been handed over to the geriatric section, which is experiencing a shortage of beds. Is this the best that the state-of-the-art hospital administration can come up with?”
Ftit granet wara, ahbar tat-twerwir sibniha f’The Times li rrapurtat, “Emergency nurses are still unable to give potentially life-saving medication to patients when they go out on ambulances, five months after the issue was supposed to have been resolved. Nurses are very concerned that their inability to administer medication, which is, ironically, carried in their emergency bag, could cost lives. An Emergency nurse said yesterday they are unable to give medication even to patients suffering from heart attacks or strokes even when wasting precious moments could cost patients' lives. Nurses were also being faced with patients in extreme pain because of bone fractures but their hands were tied and were unable to administer pain killers, the nurse, who insisted on anonymity, said. … In one case a nurse was unable to give a boy suffering from febrile convulsions drugs while the mother begged and pleaded. In the end, the nurse handed over the drug to the mother who had to administer it to her son herself.”
F’Marzu kelna l-ahbar inkwetanti dwar l-asbestos li hemm fl-Isptar Boffa. The Times irrapurtat, “The service ducts below the main corridor and wards at Boffa Hospital, Floriana, are contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, The Sunday Times has learnt. The hot water service pipes, which were insulated with material that contains amosite asbestos, are not only leaking but the insulation material is in such a poor state that fibres have actually fallen on to the ground. Sources told The Sunday Times that experts commissioned by the hospital authorities to assess the ducts had warned that the building risked being closed down by the Occupational Health and Safety Authority unless urgent action was taken to address the problem. Ironically, Boffa Hospital is currently the only public facility providing cancer treatment. Amosite asbestos is considered to be one of the most dangerous types of asbestos materials and was widely used in the past for insulation purposes. When contacted, the Health Secretariat confirmed the presence of asbestos at Boffa Hospital and said the situation was brought to its attention in January this year.”
F’Mejju, l-MUMN qalet, “the serious nursing shortage was jeopardising the level of care to patients in the various health institutions. Nurses were making huge sacrifices to prevent this but they were suffering health effects as a result, including psychological and physical effects.”
F’Dicembru aktar ahbarijiet inkwetanti. The Sunday Times qalet, “Just one in 10 doctors and nurses at Mater Dei Hospital wash their hands before treating or examining patients - exposing poor hand hygiene that increases the spread of potentially deadly infections. With 91 per cent failing to wash their hands, hygiene habits have barely improved since the migration from St Luke's Hospital to Mater Dei where wash-hand basins and alcohol rub stations increased six-fold to 30 in each ward.”
Nigu issa ghas-sena 2010 fejn is-sitwazzjoni kompliet tiggrava fil-Mater Dei. The Times tal-20 ta; Frar qalet: “Worried Casualty doctors and nurses have called for an end to the “ridiculous” situation of using parts of their department as a ward due to a shortage of beds in Malta's only acute hospital. “We feel this situation is far from acceptable, shameful and downright appalling. It needs to be remedied today,” … Their angry reaction comes after a patient recovering in one of the department's examination areas - known as Area 2 - had to be resuscitated in the corridor yesterday after suffering a cardiac arrest. “We found the patient in the middle of the corridor, surrounded by several patients,” they said in the letter. In this case, the staff did not even have access to basic equipment, including gloves, intravenous cannulae and a crash cart, and the ward doctor was unable to go to help because he was caught up with other patients, they said. “CPR ALS (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was performed as best as we could in the middle of a corridor and we successfully managed to resuscitate the patient despite the conditions being so atrocious. “CPR was performed in full view of all the patients crowded in Area 2.” The patient was later transferred to intensive care. According to sources, between 30 and 40 patients were recovering in beds in Area 2 and the corridor in Casualty's paediatric section yesterday. Although patients have been recovering in beds in corridors for some time - reminiscent of the old St Luke's Hospital - the situation was compounded further yesterday after one of the medical wards had to be closed off due to an outbreak of gastroenteritis. The staff said they could not be expected to cover patients who were admitted to Area 2 or the paediatric corridor and also the patients requiring emergency treatment. “We think it is ethically wrong that the management put the Casualty staff in the awkward situation of having to cover the patients in Area 2 and the paediatric corridor despite it being a ward,” they said.
Is-sitwazzjoni tas-sodod fil-Mater Dei baqghet gravi hafna wara snin ta’ ftahir fil-vojt mill-Gvern Nazzjonalista. L-Emergency Nurses Union f’Lulju qalet, “its members are fed up with having every day to deal with the problems their environment is creating. The serious shortage of beds at the hospital, the union said, is making patients who have been given emergency treatment wait for hours in corridors. Many discussions have been held with the authorities and many promises have been made, but the situation has continued to deteriorate and no solution has been found. Department nurses are fed up with having to face these problems daily in an environment which certainly is not ideal for them, and much more less for their patients, their union said. The union went on to call on the authorities to explain to the public what the situation was. Talks should be held to lead to an easing of the problem.”
Bil-problema ta’ sodod fil-kuriduri konna f’St. Luke’s u bl-istess problema bqajna. Fi Frar, l-MUMN ipprotestat, “The MUMN Nurses Union this morning protested about extra beds having been placed in the corridors and 'single' rooms of the medical and surgical wards of Mater Dei Hospital and warned that it would consider action. The union said that after extra beds had been placed in various corridors of the hospital, and after elderly patients were transferred to St Vincent do Paule Home, extra beds had now been placed in the medical and surgical wards. There had been no corresponding increase in nursing staff. The union said this situation stemmed from a lack of serious planning by the government, particularly when it ignored warnings during the design stage of Mater Dei, that the new hospital had far too few beds. The current situation was also the result of the government's failure to reform the primary health sector. The union said that the shortage of nurses meant that it could not guarantee adequate care to patients, both in the hospital corridors and in the extra beds crowding the medical and surgical wards.”
F’Marzu, l-MAM harget qatta bla habel kontra l-gvern meta gew mitluba sabiex jipposponu operazzjonijiet.
F’April imbaghad il-Partit Laburista kixef problemi b’nuqqas ta’ mhaded f’Mater Dei u sahansitra ppubblika ritratti.
Aktar tard fl-istess xahar, di-ve.com ikkwotat ir-rapport tal-awditur fuq l-isptar generali t’Ghawdex, “Audit reports drawn up in 2007 and 2010 by the Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) Manager at Mater Dei Hospital stated that the old model of the washer disinfector at the CSSD within the Gozo General Hospital, where surgical instruments and other reusable equipment are cleaned and disinfected, was obsolete and a new one was needed to disinfect in less time and more efficiency. The Audit Report points out that “CSSD Gozo needs to upgrade the equipment to meet the standards requested by the European Union. Failing that, CSSD is not in a position to guarantee the safety of sterility to patients.” Till now the situation has not changed.
F’Settembru, Dr. Stephen Brincat kap
tad-Dipartiment tal-Onkologija f’Mater Dei hareg b’akkuzi serjissimi li
jirrigwardjaw mwiet minhabba trattament tal-kimoterapija fl-isptar Generali
L-istat tal-poliklinika ta' Rahal Gdid kif mikxuf minn maltastar.com - JANNAR 2008
Five seriously injured in horrific traffic accident
A Tunisian male driver and four women with Maltese surnames were taken to hospital after being involved in a serious traffic accident. The accident took place on Tuesday afternoon when a hired Maruti Jeep driven by the man and four passengers on board fell down one-storey into a deep trench while off-roading near the old shooting-range in Ghajn Tuffieha. On impact, the Maruti overturned and landed on its top. Members of the Civil Protection Department were called on site to free them from the wrecked remains of the car. An ambulance took the driver and passengers to hospital, where they are being treated for the grievous injuries they sustained.
Jien ma nistax nifhem kif hames persuni jwegghu gravi fincident ikrah tat-traffiku u Alla jbierek tintbghat ambulanza wahda ghalihom biex tehodhom l-isptar. Inthom qatt dhaltu fambulanza? Ezattament fejn poggewhom hamsa
Ghal darbohra assistejna ghall-inkompetenza grassa fis-servizz tas-sahha. Sitt nisa wegghu u wahda minnhom kienet gravi minhabba ksur u dan fil-Hamrun, zewg passi l-boghod
Ghal darb’ohra assistejna ghall-inkompetenza grassa fis-servizz tas-sahha. Sitt nisa wegghu u wahda minnhom kienet gravi minhabba ksur u dan fil-Hamrun, zewg passi l-boghod minn Gwardamangia fejn hemm St. Luke’s u Alla jbierek ambulanza wahda biss baghtu ghall-midruba. Tistghu tghiduli fejn poggewhom sitt nisa midrubin f’ambulanza wahda?!!
Problemi ohra li jolqtu l-qasam tas-sahha f'Malta huma varji u gbart uhud minnhom hawnhekk. Il-kummenti tieghi jidhru wara l-kwotazzjonijiet.
“During the queen's visit, this department (St. Luke's emergency department) provided a fully equipped ambulance service on a 24 hour coverage.” Dan kien parti minn rapport li johrog kull sena dwar l-operat tad-dipartimenti tal-gvern. Dan ir-rapport partikolari huwa ghas-sena 1992 (ara pagna 121). Issa li ma nistax nifhem hu kif minhabba z-zjara tar-Regina, ghamlu preparamenti specjali li jinkludu servizz ta' ambulanza mghammra b'kollox. Jigifieri trid tigi xi ras kbira biex ikollna ambulanza mghammra kif suppost? Allura l-ambulanzi li jintuzaw ta' kuljum ghall-Maltin m'humiex mghammra sew? Dan x'servizz hu? Jien nipretendi li l-ambulanzi kollha, johorgu x'hin johorgu ghandhom ikunu mghammra sew ghal kull emergenza. U r-Regina ghaliex tawha trattament specjali? Mela mhux kulhadd jista jinqalalu xi haga u jimrad ta' malajr? Lil cikku l-poplu jibghatulu ambulanza ta' kafkaf imma ghax giet ir-regina ilestulha ambulanza mghammra b'kollox. L-aqwa li qeghdin inhallsu t-taxxi.
“Audit report shows Lm250,000 spent annually at Boffa Hospital on salaries of staff that can be better utilised in other sectors of the health service. Lm5,047 wasted each year on excess supplies of bread and water for boffa hospital patients.” Dan ir-rapport tal-awditur, li punti principali minnu gie ppubblikat f'The Times tal-31 t'Ottubru 1997 juri infieq ta' kwart ta' miljun Lira minfuqa minghajr ghaqal. Zied maghhom hela' ta' aktar minn Lm5,000 ghal xiri ta' hobz u ilma zejjed li ma kienx hemm bzonnu. Dan fi sptar wiehed biss. Dak kien il-wirt tal-PN li halla warajh meta tilef l-elezzjoni tal-1996.
“A stock verification exercise at Mt. Carmel hospital showed that the average number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners served daily was 611, when daily bed occupancy was 535. There were 76 servings in each round which remained unaccounted for.” Ikompli r-rapport tal-awditur. Hela' u abbuz kbir li jiswa lill-poplu eluf kbar ta' Liri kull sena. Imbaghad in-Nazzjonalisti ppretendew li l-MLP fi 22 xahar jaghmel dak li m'ghamlux huma f'disa snin.
“Pharmacists in dispute with the health ministry.” Irrapurtat The Times tal-25 ta' Novembru 2000. Ghax anke mal-ispizjara l-gvern Nazzjonalista kellu xi jghid.
“The health department owes pharmaceutical firms and suppliers more than Lm4 million.” Irrapurtat The Times tat-30 t'Ottubru 2001. Ma tghaggeb lil hadd din l-ahbar. Lill-gvern Nazzjonalista issa nafuh bizzejjed bhala l-gvern tad-dejn.
Kulhadd jaf kemm qed jeqred il-gvern dwar l-ispiza ghas-sahha. Imma hekk biss jaf jaghmel, jeqred. Soluzjonijiet u pariri hemm, imma l-gvern m'ghandux il-hila jew l-interess jisma'. The Sunday Times tal-14 ta' Settembru 2003 gabet artiklu interessanti ta' Dr. Frank Portelli eks membru parlamentari Nazzjonalista. “The government could net up to Lm6 million a year if the health division was geared toward collecting its dues for treatment to foreigners in state hospitals. The health division could pull itself out of the financial doldrums if it beefed up its administration systems by creating a partnership between the private and public health sectors. The health division was losing millions of liri simply because it was failing to collect its dues from foreigners who received medical treatment at St. Luke’s hospital and health centres. During the last 12 months some 2,000 foreigners were admitted to St. Luke’s hospital for emergency treatment up from an average 1,400 in the past years.”
Din li gejja mhux xi cajta, anzi hija serja hafna. Ma nixtieq qatt inkun minflok dan il-pazjent. The Times tal-4 ta' Frar 2004 irraportat li, “It would be comic were it not so tragic... A patient returning home in an ambulance on Monday following treatment in hospital had to be hospitalised again when he was thrown off the seat as the vehicle was manoeuvring a roundabout. The patient was originally treated at St Luke's hospital for head and back injuries following a fall off a ladder. He was discharged some time after treatment and was being taken home in an ambulance as his injuries prevented him for bending low enough to get into a car or taxi. On the way home, the ambulance driver was coming off a roundabout when the patient was thrown off the bench, hitting his head against the interior of the vehicle, causing a second head injury. The patient had to be taken to the Mosta health centre where his condition was stabilised so he could return to St. Luke's for further x-rays and treatment. Later that night the patient was taken home in another ambulance.” Dawn mhux affarijiet tac-cajt, imma trid tghaddi minnhom biex tifhem il-gravita tas-sitwazzjoni.
Mhux mat-tobba u l-infermiera biss kien arroganti l-gvern imma anke mal-ispizjara. Editorjalment, The Times canfret lill-gvern Nazzjonalista fis-16 t'April 2004, “It is distressing to note that officials of the chamber of pharmacists complained of lack of consultation. This is unacceptable and does not augur well for the future … one hopes the government will realise how crucial it is to consult and win over public opinion.” Veru kaz ta' min jitwieled tond ma jmutx kwadru.
Kompliet il-problema tan-nuqqas ta’ infermiera. “The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses yesterday said the shortage of nurses was preventing patients from being given an appropriate level of care. The union held a press conference in front of St Luke's Hospital to complain that finances were being given priority over health. It believes that the nursing complement in public hospitals is in a "precarious" situation but that despite this the Health Division has taken a decision not to employ a number of newly graduated nurses.” Irrapurtat The Times fid-19.11.2004
Regghet l-MAM f’Dicembru, “The Medical Association of Malta yesterday “unreservedly” deplored the content of the proposed document on health reform of the health services which it said shows an absolute lack of respect for the medical profession.” Rapport ta’ The Times tal-4.12.2004
Isimghu din …
Skond il-Ministru tas-Sahha Louis Deguara, id-Dipartiment tas-Sahha fi Frar 2005 kellu 20 ambulanza imma tnejn minnhom ma jahdmux. L-ambulanzi ilhom jintuzaw hekk:
- 2 ambulanzi ghandhom 18 il-sena
- 3 ambulanzi ghandhom 15 il-sena
- 3 ambulanzi ghandhom 10 snin
- 2 ambulanzi ghandhom 8 snin
- 6 ambulanzi ghandhom 5 snin
- 4 ambulanzi ghandhom 2 snin
Minn ricerka li ghamilt sibt li fis-seduta tal-Parlament Ingliz tal-15 ta' Dicembru 2003, is-Segretarju tal-Istat ghas-Sahha fil-mistoqsija parlamentari numru 143242 gie mistoqsi dwar kemm ambulanza ghandha ddum fis-servizz. Irrispondiet Ms Rosie Winterton hekk, “The average life span of an ambulance is seven years for patient transport services and five years for accident and emergency ambulances.” Issa kulhadd jaf li t-toroq u l-kundizzjonijiet tas-sewqan fl-Ingilterra huma bil-wisq ahjar minn taghna, imma Alla jbierek l-ambulanzi f'Malta jinzammu jahdmu anke d-doppju u t-tripplu ta' kemm suppost inhalluhom fis-servizz sakemm jiddamdmu u jaqghu bicciet. Povru pazjent!!
It is hard to understand why it should take the government so long to decide whether to start the “pharmacy of your choice” scheme.- editorjal, The Times 2.3.2007
F’Settembru 2007 sirna nafu li rapport li sar dwar ir-decompression chamber f’Ghawdex wera li dan l-apparat kellu livell ta’ carbon dioxide kwazi 10 darbiet aktar gholjin mill- livell massimu tal-Unjoni Ewropea.
F’Ottubru smajna bl-ahbar ta’ kaz kriminali f’St.Vincent de Paul. The Times irrapurtat, “A man who works as a nursing aide at St Vincent De Paul was yesterday charged with harassing an elderly woman and causing her to suffer pain when he punched her two months ago.”
U ahbar inkwetanti kienet din gejja minn Brussell. The Times qaltilna, “An EU-wide health consumer index ranking public health services in the 27 EU member states plus Switzerland and Norway shows that Malta has slipped to 20th place from the 13th position it occupied in the same survey last year. The 2007 health consumer index was published yesterday in Brussels by the Health Consumer Powerhouse, a Brussels-based independent analysis and information organisation.”
Fil-bidu t’Ottubru, maltastar.com u One News zvelaw filmat inkredibbli ta’ pazjent fl-ITU jinhareg barra triq biex mid-Dipartiment tar-Radjologija ittiehed l-ITU.
Fl-4 ta’ Dicembru, il-Ministru tas-Sahha Louis Deguara kkonferma fil-parlament li erbgha operazzjonijiet ta’ Dynamic Hip Screw gew posposti minhabba nuqqas ta’ screws!!
Fi Frar tal-2012, l-MAM ikkundannat lill-Gvern Nazzjonalista talli naqqas €8.5 miljun mill-budget fis-settur tas-sahha. “The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) condemned the Government’s decision to reduce the health sector budget by €8.5m. The MUMN said that when one analyses the health sector, one would find that the lack of investment has become the rule of the day. Mount Carmel Hospital lacks wards for children over 14 years of age, thus they end up with the adults. In addition, the residential wards are not in poor condition and the hospital does not have its own electrical generator. At Mater Dei Hospital, there is a serious shortage of stretchers, beds and other basic equipment. The MUMN said this is both putting a greater deal of pressure on both nurses and creating stress among the public. The union said that this goes against what has been promised and guaranteed - that the €40 million budget cuts would not affect the health sector. The MUMN said it could not understand how the Minister of Health had allowed such cuts and continued that it was not going to allow the termination of any nurses' contracts. The MUMN said it was going to ensure that all available nurses, including the new graduates, will be employed to curb the nursing shortage. It said that after all, it was the same government that created the present shortage of nurses when in 2007 it introduced the numerous clauses in nursing courses. The Union will be requesting an urgent meeting with the Minister of Health to demand explanation for the cuts in the Ministry’s budget further.” di-ve - [email protected] Local News -- 29 February 2012 -- 14:10CEST
ISIMGHU l-ghajta tal-imgarrab
ISIMGHU l-ghajta tal-imgarrab
The Malta Independent on Sunday 26.9.2004
On the evening of Thursday 16 September, my sister was admitted to the maternity ward at St Luke’s Hospital with contractions every few minutes apart. She spent the whole night with labour pains and the night shift midwife was very helpful. I wish I could say the same about the morning shift midwife – she left much to be desired. At 7am I took over from the father-to-be so he could go home and rest to be ready for the big hour when his son was about to be born. This midwife didn’t accept the fact that I was replacing my sister’s husband, she didn’t even talk to me politely. As everyone knows every mother-to-be has a birthing partner so my being there, giving support to my sister instead of her husband shouldn’t have been a problem at all. Besides, other patients had someone with them some of whom were not their husbands. At around 8am she examined my sister to see what stage of labour she had reached. She said labour had not progressed at all and she would send her to the ante-natal clinic. The way she talked to my sister was very arrogant, I wouldn’t talk like that to an animal. My sister called her gynaecologist straight away who told her that the midwife should break her waters so she could start active labour. When my sister passed on the gynaecologist’s instruction to this young midwife, she started insulting the doctor and telling us that the gynaecologist doesn’t know what she was talking about. To cut a long story short my sister signed herself out. On the long walk out of the hospital we decided to go to St Philip’s Hospital. When we arrived immediate assistance was given, my sister was settled in a room, examined straight away and told they could help her to active labour. After four hours of intensive pain, the gynaecologist and midwife decided that no matter how long my sister’s labour took she would never have been able to deliver her baby naturally due to the position the baby was lying in. This also explained why she could not go into active labour on her own. At 1.15pm she was prepared for a Caesarean and at 1.50pm a cute 3.4kg baby boy was born. Shame on that midwife at Karin Grech Hospital. The gynaecologist told us that my sister would have lost the baby if he had been left in that position for much longer. Why wasn’t she helped at St Luke’s? What would have happened if my family hadn’t pooled resources to pay for my sister to have her baby at St Philip’s Hospital? Simple – we wouldn’t be enjoying a lovable, cute bundle of joy. Should a patient, who consults a gynaecologist who doesn’t work at St. Luke’s Hospital, be treated like this?
The Times 7.7.2005
I would like to bring to the notice of the Health Minister and the others in charge at St Luke's Hospital, the inhuman treatment one has to undergo to procure medicine from the main pharmacy at this hospital. On July 1, I arrived there at precisely 9.30 a.m. and was made to queue behind some 50 to 60 people under a stifling hot sun. The very dirty canopy which is supposed to give shelter from the rain and sun only entraps all the hot air, because there are no fans to move the air, and the temperature underneath it must have touched 40. That would have been bad enough, but what made things worse was the fact that the queue made hardly any progress and it took me until 11.30 a.m. to reach the reception window. Two hours to move some four metres. On handing over my prescription and yellow card for scrutinising, I was invited to leave the waiting room, which is equipped with chairs and some electric fans thus making it a little bit cooler, to go out again and wait under the canopy where the heat was reaching an intolerable temperature. In the process of waiting I saw two old ladies fainting and a couple of others were on the verge of doing so. I finally got served at 1.30 p.m., four hours after arriving. Do the authorities concerned think that this kind of treatment befits a nation which has joined the EU and is aspiring to reach its standards? I do not need to point out that the majority of people who go to St Luke's to collect their medicine are mostly old people and others who are feeling far from well and hence not in a fit state to wait for so long under a relentless sun. Is it beyond the capabilities of those in charge to organise things so that people do not have to undergo inhuman treatment to get the medicine to which they are entitled?
The Times 25.7.2005
I had a bad bout of ill-health over the last few weeks and had to visit St Luke's Hospital on a number of occasions. Never have I felt so shocked, embarrassed and, yes, angry about the state of this hospital or the way it is run. On entering the Casualty Department one is met by nonchalant receptionists who make it a point to make you feel privileged if they so much as look at you. After being passed into the emergency room gasping for breath because of lack of oxygen, I was made to wait for four hours, in a piping-hot room (the air-conditioner was not switched on and there was no remote control available) until my situation deteriorated a lot and I was rushed in only to have to wait again because there was no cubicle available for examination. All in all I spent the whole day at the hospital waiting around, getting worse and being sent back home none the wiser. I can only say that the doctors seemed to have a hard time trying to juggle everything around too and have to commend them for the way they treated me and other patients. Later I had to make another visit to the same hospital, this time to the ENT out-patients department - another shock. The building is filthy, the elevator dark, dingy and faulty, and again I was made to wait, this time in an even hotter room with temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius. The reception at this department is even worse than that of the casualty department and what I found incredible was that, the whole time I was there, receptionists took to making grubby numbered cards out of cardboard boxes of a leading tomato company! This is in 2005, when Malta has joined the EU. So there I sat watching them, counting the number of cracked tiles, sitting on torn PVC seats until someone barked my name at me and I was admitted. I have to admit I was treated well by the doctors both at casualty and by the consultant on duty at the ENT department and I sympathise that it must be hard to function day in, day out in such surroundings. But here I am, having paid a good chunk of my salary in taxes all through my working life, for this! Shameful to say the least.
Mr. S. Bugeja, Balzan
The Times 18.9.2005
I have to visit St Luke's Hospital every month to take my medication intravenously. I often find myself in a pathetic situation while waiting for this medication to find its way to the ward from what I believe to be "the laboratory". Although there never seems to be an adequate number of doctors and nurses, at least the needle is always inserted well before 8 a.m. However, I then have to resign myself to waiting between two and three hours before this gift of life arrives from "the laboratory". Last month's visit turned into a real ordeal. I was at the ward at 7.30 a.m. The glistening needle greeted me about 20 minutes later. Believe it or not, the clock struck noon and there was still no sign of my medication. According to the nurses, there are only two employees in the “laboratory” for the whole hospital. I am asked to make it a point to always turn up before 8 a.m. - and I comply. I complain - because I'm human - and am always faced with the same verbal reaction: “have patience”. My consultant, ever sympathetic, comes up with "we are short of staff". Even Job's patience would have reached breaking point last July, when the results of my blood test, crucial in determining the amount of medication needed, vanished into thin air. Furthermore, I am asked to phone on the eve of my visit, to ensure that the medication is prepared on time. Alas, I do so in vain. I would have thought that a day's notice would suffice. I thought wrong! But what can I do? I'm the one needing treatment, the one in need of a service which our taxes are supposed to be paying for! I'm just an ordinary citizen - unlike the powers that be! When oh when will concrete action be taken to address these shortcomings within our national health service? God's Mother help us all when the migration to Mater Dei takes place.
Joe Diacono, Sliema
The Times 26.9.2005
The manner in which the emergency section at St Luke's Hospital has deteriorated is utterly disgusting. My 89-year-old father was sent to hospital by ambulance the other day after our general practitioner diagnosed him as suffering from a weak heart condition, apart from other complications related to his liver and kidney functions. After being rushed there at about 3 p.m. and going through the normal procedures, we were asked to wait. We kept a vigil next to our father and started asking every now and then when would he be attended to, only to be told that there were other urgent cases which, of course, took priority. By 7 p.m. still nothing happened and tempers started flaring firstly because we were here dealing with an elderly person who was not well and was experiencing a certain amount of pain and discomfort and, secondly, because the air-conditioned room set at 16°C was not doing any good to his health. Here is where we took matters into our hands and decided to wheel him out into the corridor, if anything to move away from the harm the air conditioning was causing, not to mention the fact that the long wait was not doing any good to him either. One of the nurses/doctors took exception to our actions and ordered us back into the by now freezing air-conditioned room. I refused, insisting that, no matter what, my father will not go back into that room again. I asked this doctor/nurse what he would do if it were his father who was in that situation. The reply I got was five odd security officers and a policeman appearing on the scene. I insisted that despite the number of officers doubled I still was not going to take my father back into the room. Some kind soul heard my plea and at least a blanket was given to my father at 8 p.m. Yet, we were still kept waiting although, thanks to a student-doctor my father did get to lie down on one of the beds available in the emergency ward. He was finally seen to at 10 p.m. when an ultrasound was taken and he was then admitted to ward MS2 at 11 p.m. Is this how we treat our elderly people in Malta? Do they have to be on their deathbed to be given priority over other patients? Something drastically bad has happened at the emergency ward as I have never ever witnessed this type of attitude and service before. Seeing what went on at St Luke's Hospital one could easily notice that doctors were working at a pace which was anything but normal. They were rushing from one patient to another to keep up with the workload. What has caused this extra strain on this vital part of the hospital? I could list a whole series of events I have personally witnessed which I found strange, to say the least. However, I do not want to sound neither racist nor biased and therefore I will refrain from pointing fingers. However, management needs to grab the bull by the horns and tackle this situation urgently. Left unchecked, this can only deteriorate further with the result that those requiring treatment are left in the dark to suffer. What is sure is that something must have happened; some extra load must have been put on to these doctors, which work used to be done elsewhere before and had now been shifted onto the hospital.
Mr V. Spiteri
The Malta Independent on Sunday 19.3.2006
Can somebody from the St Luke`s hospital management/superintendence, explain the rationale of scheduling so many appointments for the orthopaedic and other out-patients department, all at the same time of 8.30am? The overcrowding at St Luke’s is evidently engineered by the incompetent and indifferent management of this hospital, who lavishly furnished with computers and expensive software, still cannot organise a piss up in a brewery. I hope these people will be ear-marked for the order of the boot, well before Mater Dei is commissioned. Today, 14 March, I had an 8.30am appointment, arranged for me by customer care. I arrived punctually at 08.25, after having to contend with the gridlock of rush hour traffic. I was asked to wait, along with all the rest, for five solid hours in a small, unhygienic, crowded, foul-smelling room. Eventually, I was called at 12.30 to see Mr Gatt`s deputy. He simply told me to go and have the old plaster removed and replaced with a fresh cast, and have yet another X-ray of my broken wrist. When I asked when I was going to have the intervention I was told about at the A&E, he asked me my age. It seems that Mr Gatt’s deputy does not think that at 70 years of age, I am worth the time and effort needed to fix my broken wrist. To sum up, a whole frustrating morning was wasted for a plaster cast to be replacesd which took all of five minutes, an X-ray which took less than five minutes and a cursory look at the X-ray which took 37 seconds according to my stop watch. I arrived back home in Attard at 13.45. Could this contempt for a meek and uncomplaining public, have anything to do with the government`s dismal showing in the recent local elections?
Charles Vella, Sta Lucija
The Times 21.5.2007
I had the misfortune of crushing one of my fingers in the car door. Following this, I spent a sleepless night bearing the pain of a swollen finger with the half-gone fingernail. At 7 a.m. the following morning, on May 11, I was given a lift by a relative of mine to the Paola Health Centre. A nursing aide at the reception took my particulars and asked me to wait in the queue to see the doctor. I was the ninth patient in the queue. The first patient was seen by the doctor at 8.25 a.m. After the sixth patient was seen, there was a change in the roster and a new doctor walked in within another 25 minutes. My turn came up at 9.25 a.m., that is after two and a half hours waiting. However, I am not complaining about this. As soon as I faced the doctor the latter asked me if I had brought my file with me. I told him that nobody gave me anything and all I needed was some advice on my aching finger. The doctor remained adamant and wanted to see my file before seeing to my needs. I went back to the receptionist for my file. By now the staff at the reception had changed. They asked for my ID card which incidentally was in the car of the relative who had given me a lift to the clinic but by now had left for work. They refused to give me the file and so I was refused attention by the doctor. After an exchange of heated words between the other patients, myself and the reception I had no other option but to refer to a private clinic. By the way, I am a pensioner. It is unacceptable to see that the doctor's procedures change according to who is on duty at the health centre at that time. More shameful is the refusal to give medical aid. It is such a shabby treatment that will jeopardise our fifth place in the world for health services supplied.
David Camilleri, Rabat
The Times 28.6.2007
My mother is a terminally ill patient in a government hospital. As our country is assailed by a terrible heatwave, the searing heat is unbearable, especially for my poor mother who is nailed to the bed, enduring unnecessary suffering because the air-conditioning system fails to work during such a critical time. I urge the authorities to take care of patients like my mother so that they can at least die with dignity.
Michell Borg Brincat, Gzira
The Times 5.9.2007
When is the management of St Luke's Hospital going to supply all the medical staff with name tags? Is the management too busy transferring the lousy service to Mater Dei Hospital or is it more convenient for the staff not to be identified when they shrug off their responsibilities? After a horrible experience at the ante-natal ward, I would have liked to suggest retraining to two members of staff, with an unknown identity due to the absence of name tags. I would recommend retraining to the midwife, who without checking me, dismissed the fact that I was in labour, because according to her, I was coping too well with the pain. The female doctor, who sent me from the ante-natal ward to the labour ward on foot when I was eight centimetres dilated, unfortunately also falls in the same category.
I must say with great respect the nurses at St Luke's deserve a medal for all their hard work and attention I received whilst spending time at St.Lukes. Having said that I must also add I have never seen a more disorganised hospital in my life, ok... Our D.H.S.S in the UK is not god's gift to mankind, but boy your Very Old and dirty Hospital takes the cherry on the cake. Although we are paying for our medical attention through our British government, I think we are entitled to better treatment & liaison, as for the meals, non exitent, no water, toilets are filthy dirty and so are the corridors and door handles, one probably catches more germs staying at the above hospital then at home. We know this is not the UK as we were told hundred of times, and we know that the new Hospital is far more advanced, but who the hell wants to come over here for an operation that is supposedly cheaper then the UK, at this present state being St Luke's. The People deserve better being Maltese or foreign alike. Organisation, is the key factor at this moment in time.
John Calleja, Mosta
The Times 27.9.2007
Bill Robson wrote recently regarding the exceptional kindness that he encountered at St Luke's Hospital. However, in my case I am not so lucky as he was, despite the fact that for the past 34 years I have always paid my national insurance contributions and the tax due and despite the fact, also, that I am certainly no burden on the Health Department's Expenditure Vote as I am a firm believer in preventive cure through regular exercise and a good diet. On January 10 I suffered a severe meniscus tear in my right knee. At that time I was not aware of such an injury as I thought it was another of those minor sport injuries I was accustomed to. However, on January 14, due to the persistent pain I presented myself at the emergency section of St Luke's Hospital for diagnosis and treatment of the injury. After more than four hours of waiting, a general practitioner on duty referred me for an X-ray and afterwards assured me that nothing was wrong with me as the X-ray showed no damage. However, two days later I had to report again at the emergency ward due to the persistent pain and an alarming swelling of the right knee and due to the fact that I could not straighten up my lower part of the leg. There, I insisted that the general practitioner consult an orthopaedic specialist but the former insisted that since the X-ray showed no damage in my knee my case was not urgent and I had to fix an appointment. This appointment was fixed for May 9, that is four months after I sustained the injury. On May 9 the assistant of the orthopaedic surgeon referred me for an appointment for an MRI test. This appointment was fixed for July 18. After the MRI was taken I was told to go and fix an appointment with an orthopaedic consultant for the diagnosis of my injury as depicted by the MRI result. This appointment was fixed for September 4, that is, almost eight months after I sustained the injury. On that day I was told by the orthopaedic surgeon that I had sustained a severe tear in my meniscus with a possible damage to a ligament and that I had to undergo surgery. I was put on the waiting list for such an operation, an operation which has so far not materialised. In the meantime, I have to report daily to work, do my household chores and try to lead as normal a life as possible despite the fact that my knee is "locked", the possibility of further injury to my knee and the probability of permanent damage to my knee due to delayed treatment. St Luke have mercy on me.
Godfrey Grima, Floriana
The Times 23.11.2007
As an edifice the design is awesome... as a hospital it's cavernous. Parking fees are an absolute clip. As hospital services go Mater Dei is far from what we expected. My mother broke a hip bone and was rushed to St Luke's Hospital a week ago. Doctors manning the emergency service were divine. She was wheeled into one of the orthopedic wards awaiting surgery. What she was to face in the ward was despicable, almost inhuman. Nurses and nursing assistants on that ward need a crack of the whip to learn how to treat patients different from the way one deals with prison inmates. On my mother's first night, a stout, towering woman wearing a far too large and far less clean uniform - what seems to be a nursing assistant - grabbed her by the fractured side of her body and heavily rolled her over on to her side with such strength it almost made my mother faint in pain. My mother has taught nursing for over 50 years and knows a thing or two of what makes a good nurse. “You're cruel” was the only way she could painfully react. Asking for a bed pan soon became an incredibly demeaning chore. Nurses and their assistants only deliver when it suits them - which has absolutely nothing to do with a heavy workload. My mother's migration to Mater Dei, after her surgery, improved her misery only marginally if that. She was made to repeatedly ask for bed pans and made to suffer endless waiting. When one appeared it was delivered in ways that were palpably begrudging. Eventually my mother decided to wear a nappy - having a bed pan delivered at night became a nightmare. A nursing assistant applied it with such disdain and carelessness that by the morning my mother had developed a worryingly swollen thigh. Shortly after her operation she was mistakenly diagnosed as a diabetic - only for one of consultant's assistants to tell her, days later, she was not. Someone seems not to know that surgical interventions almost always lead to a rise in sugar levels in the blood. For days my mother was terribly downcast fearing she was now more ill than when she entered hospital. Disgustingly enough - and without the least hint of discipline - nurses and their assistants - not all though - still play the supremacy cards with patients at Mater Dei. “Would you believe that patients have this attitude with us when they need everything from us,” was the way one nurse reacted to a patient complaining he had not been given his bed pan. Meanwhile the towering nurse who also migrated with my mother to Mater Dei was telling everyone who could hear: “I'm only here to earn a pound”. When for the hundredth time my mother was forced to beg for a bed pan a male nurse told her: “Male nurses do not deliver bed pans to women patients”. Her bedside alarm bell was eventually turned off - heartless nurses' habits have been quick to migrate into Mater Dei too it seems. When she politely asked a nurse to pick up some holy pictures she had dropped on the floor - my mother can't move out of bed - the nurse replied: “Do you always want something?” What is the consultant doing with this amount of rotten apples among his staff? People like John Cachia, the director of Health Services, and Frank Bartolo, the hospital superintendent, could not do more to turn this glitzy crackling new building into an efficient hospital that has sucked an unthinkable amount of money and a 17-year wait. Surgeons and doctors are a treasure. But nurses - as I say those in the orthopedic ward dealing with my mother must be the worst - need to be seriously dealt with. They are an absolute sham; they should be investigated, disciplined and sent to work elsewhere - except in hospitals. Incidentally my mother is 93. She is now recovering and is in the caring hands of real nurses and nursing staff at Karen Grech who have just come over from Zammit Clapp. To them, my eternal thanks. To the others - this will not stop here.
Stanley Zammit, Swieqi
The Times 3.12.2007
Much has been said about the Mater Dei Hospital. Yes, it is a large state-of-the-art hospital. However, old ways still abound. On November 29 at 11.47, I registered my six-year-old son, with a suspected wrist problem, after a playground incident. I had a form signed by my GP, with the word "urgent" written at the top. This was so that an x-ray could easily be taken without having to wait for yet another doctor's examination. I was passed from the emergency receptionist to Room No.1 in minutes and then told to wait. We then had to wait for two hours to be seen by a doctor and a further 45 minutes to have an x-ray. Why is it that children (as has happened to us in the UK) are not given priority and sent to an emergency paediatric unit? Surely this hospital should be improving on old habits.
Peter Paul Sacco, Zabbar
The Times 11.12.2007
The other day I spent a full quarter of an hour on the phone trying to arrange an appointment with a consultant at Mater Dei Hospital. The first attempt solicited no reply from the main reception. On informing the operator the second time, her stark reply was “as usual” (is-soltu!). She then proceeded to advise me to hold, needless to say without a please, to put me through once more, hopefully! When this attempt was likewise unsuccessful, I requested to speak to customer care. Surprise, surprise, even they do not answer the phone. After waiting 15 years, we may finally have a state-of-the-art hospital but the treatment to the patient remains of the same old “take it or leave it” mentality. When will some people, supposed to be providing a service, ever learn that they are not doing their customer a favour but that he is paying for the service and has a right to expect the highest level of attention?
Early this week a relative of mine was feeling unwell and his doctor referred him to the polyclinic. The doctor there urged him to go immediately to Mater Dei Hospital for urgent diagnosis. This chap arrived at the hospital’s emergency department at 1000hrs. Believe it or not, he was first seen by a hospital doctor at 1730hrs - more then seven hours later. This person is 78 years old. After the routine examination he was informed that he will be admitted for treatment as an in-patient. His 80 year old wife and her daughter left the hospital and drove back home to bring him some personal belongings he needed in hospital. When they reported at the same place where they left him they could not find him. And for some reason or another, nobody could. One nurse even told them to look under the table for him. They were even confronted by an unfriendly foreign security guard outside one of the wards. To cut a long story short, they found their relative in a ward after asking around for about an hour. Is this going to be the new service given to the same people who have contributed to the building of this hospital through their taxes? Needless to say this kind of service leaves much to be desired and I believe worse would come if the Nationalist Party remains in power after the next election. Mater Dei ora pro nobis.
Carmel Gatt, Birkirkara
The Times 15.3.2008
In the early hours of Tuesday, March 11, my son's wife started to suffer from acute abdominal pain and my son drove her to Mater Dei Hospital. They were asked to sit down and wait. In the meantime hospital personnel, holding cups of coffee, walked to and fro, talking, laughing and joking. As two hours had by then passed by, my son approached one of them to inquire as to when his wife would be getting some attention. He was told in no uncertain terms to sit down and wait. Some other people told my son that they had been waiting since 3 a.m. and had got absolutely no attention. Disgusted with this deliberately-chaotic situation, and since by then the day had dawned, my son and his wife decided to leave the building and contact their GP from home. These, and others, are the situations which the new government headed by Lawrence Gonzi has to address urgently. There are people in sensitive employment who don't give a damn about the welfare of others and are shirking their responsibilities. It is my firm belief that these people have a hidden agenda to put the government in a bad light. I appeal to Dr Gonzi, who is a caring and sensitive person, to instruct his new Minister of Health to address this problem urgently. From what I hear this problem has been going on for quite some time.
The Times (online comment) 29.5.2008
A few days before Easter my wife drove me to Mater Dei Emergency as I was under a colic attack. We got there at 5.00pm, after six hours of waiting we were told we had to wait for approx three more hours to be seen too. Everyone could see I was in absolute pain could not even talk with pain. At last my family took me to a private hospital where I was operated on . It cost me over 1000 euros. Well Mr Dalli who is going to refund me with the cost of the operation? There were over eight security officers doing nothing, the customer care girl kept disappearing and there was no one around to check the real emergency cases. WHAT A SHAME.....
On Monday my dying grandfather was admitted to Mater Dei Hospital. He was placed at M1 ward room no 1. This is a four beded room. Whilst I cannot complain about the service and attention he received, we were disgusted to the fact that the room had no dividing curtains. The excuse was that they had been sent for laundry. Patients who had been hospitalised before told us that the curtains had been missing for the past week. Therefore imagine everytime a patient needed to be changed or cleaned, everyone had to leave the room and wait outside. It was really embarrasing and degrading to the same patients. To make matters worse my grandfather died and we could not even grief in privacy obviously since there were no curtains and to add insult to injury he was left exposed even to the detriment of the other patients. It is simply obscene. Surely they could have ordered an extra set of curtains along the millions spent to build the hospital, couldn't they??
Philip Micallef, Sliema
The Sunday Times 29.6.2008
After having read the 'facts' from the report on Mater Dei Hospital's investigation into my mother's long wait at the Emergency Department on June 8 (The Times, June 28), I would like to clarify some issues. When we arrived at the Emergency Department at Mater Dei around 7.30 p.m., I went straight to the receptionist and told her that my mum had fallen and was in great pain. The lady took some details, gave us a form, and directed us to zone 2 or possibly zone 3, just seconds away from where we were. There we met another lady. I gave the form to her, and recounted what had happened. After explaining the situation, she told us to take a seat in the waiting area around the corner. I was told several times by the nurse that this was an emergency area, and if more urgent cases were admitted, they would have to make us wait. I understood this. From this moment, we waited for around four hours before a very pleasant surgeon could see to my mother's wrist. Over four hours, on numerous occasions I asked if we would have to wait much longer. At one point, my mother nearly fainted; she was in extreme pain, and tired. While we were waiting, there were also one or two other people waiting in this area. (I never stated that only two people passed through the entire emergency area and it is ridiculous to assume this anyway). One kicked up a fuss over the long wait he also had endured, and claimed that he was being treated like dirt. I am more than certain that it is possible to trace this person to verify that I am telling the truth. Meanwhile, over the four-hour wait, the nurse also took some blood samples. Before leaving the Emergency Department after the X-rays were taken and after having a temporary half-cast put on, we were told that it was not a straightforward case and my mother would need an operation. We were told to come the following morning at 8. We were not told to come over for some tests so that an operation would be re-scheduled for another time. We were told that this operation would be carried out the following day. This is what we were given to understand, and it is obvious that the tests would have to be carried out prior to the operation. This we knew. The following day we arrived on time, and on arrival we were told to wait in the waiting room. After several hours, we were told that some blood samples needed to be taken. I informed the nurse that these were carried out the previous day. We were then informed that the samples had been lost. Once again the samples were taken. After waiting for practically a whole day, I asked what was going on, and was informed that some blood samples would be needed once again. I insisted that the samples had already been taken twice, and was told that they could not find the samples taken an hour earlier, and because of this the operation could not be carried out. After nine hours of waiting we were informed that we had to return the following day. I asked what time our mother would be operated on the following day, and also asked if they could call us an hour before, to save us waiting for hours on end. The doctor on duty said he could not do this, because if a more urgent case came along we would once again be put on hold. The report states that our mother was going to be operated on Tuesday afternoon and was third in line. How is this if the hospital cannot guarantee operation times? I am prepared to meet the doctor and watch him deny having said that we would have to wait until they had a slot, even if it meant five days. We resorted to St James Hospital simply because we were given to understand by Mater Dei staff that there was a possibility that we would be toing and froing for three, four or even five days. If we had known we were going to be operated on June 10, and were the third in line, we would be foolish to go private and pay thousands of euros. Nevertheless, many doctors at Mater Dei also work in private hospitals, so the medical treatment would have been the same. We went to St James so the operation would be carried out quickly - something that the government and Mater Dei are obliged to do for citizens. My retired parents paid taxes all their working lives and at least deserve the courtesy of an apology from the inefficient administration at Mater Dei. The surgeon who operated on my mother was on duty the previous day while we were at Mater Dei. I did not say that this surgeon assisted my mother at Mater Dei. We have turned to the press as we sincerely do not wish anyone else to go through a similar experience. It is also possible that the administration is not even aware that these things are happening at Mater Dei. I know that the hospital and its customer service do not only have bad points. Please do not misunderstand my intentions.
Christine Debono, Ħamrun
The Times 3.10.2008
I have never been admitted to the emergency department at Mater Dei Hospital. However, I had to take my mother unexpectedly on Sunday and I must say I was shocked and frustrated to find that this department is a completely shameless one. Needless to say, we had to wait nearly seven hours to see a doctor because there was only one doctor and a large number of people queuing in the waiting area. At one point, while we were waiting for our turn in the queue, a woman entered in the company of someone else and he did a few calls from his mobile phone and she was admitted near the doctor immediately, even though there were many people in the queue waiting for their turn. Everybody started to complain and she was asked to wait in the queue like everybody else. The fair queuing system shouldn't discriminate between who you are and who you know! Immediate action needs to be taken to reform and make the emergency department efficient. I encourage the minister responsible to take the necessary measures to make this department a real emergency department.
Josephine Vella daħlet l-Emerġenza fl-Isptar Mater Dei għall-ħabta tad-9pm b’uġigħ kbir f’saqajha wara li waqgħet. Sal-4am, seba’ siegħat wara li rifset l-għatba tal-isptar, l-ebda tabib kien għadu ma raha. Vella li għandha 72 sena, ma felħitx tistenna iktar. Marret lura d-dar u mas-sebħ uliedha ħaduha l-poliklinika tal-Mosta fuq parir tat-tabib tal-familja li kien ċempel lill-poliklinika biex jara fejn l-aħjar tmur. Hemmhekk qalulha li jista’ jkun ma tinqediex peress li Josephine toqgħod ir-Rabat. Wara stennija ta’ 20 minuta, bl-uġigħ ikompli jiżdied, Josephine marret fi sptar privat biex tinqeda. Wara li ħadulha x-ray ikkonfermawlha li kellha ksur f’saqajha u kellha tagħmel il-ġibs. Il-prezz tal-intervent mediku tela’ għal €400. Il-każ seħħ bejn il-Ħamis 25 ta’ Settembru u l-Ġimgħa. Iltqajt ma’ Josephine fid-dar tat-tifla. Bilqiegħda fuq pultruna b’saqajha fil-ġibs mserrħa fuq banketta tgħidli li ma tistax tifhem għalfejn fl-Emerġenza qed ikun hemm dak id-dewmien kollu. Tgħid li wara li waqgħet ma marritx mill-ewwel l-isptar. Ħasbet li l-uġigħ kien tad-daqqa u se jgħaddilha wara ftit. Imma wara sagħtejn saqajha mhux biss intefħet imma wkoll ma setgħetx timxi b’mod normali. Bħal ħafna nies Josephine u uliedha ħasbu li aħjar imorru l-Emerġenza. Setgħu biss jobsru li s-sieq kienet miksura. Mhumiex tobba u f’ċirkostanza hekk ma toqgħodx tqis jekk dak li għandek hux każ ta’ emerġenza jew le. Kellhom raġun, għax l-uġigħ kien ġej minn ksur taħt l-irkoppa. “Jien għalfejn inħallas it-taxxa?” staqsieni David, ir-raġel tat-tifla ta’ Josephine. “Kif jista’ jkun bniedem jitħalla jistenna seba’ sigħat mingħajr ma jarah tabib?” Il-mistoqsijiet ta’ David huma l-mistoqsijiet li kulmin kellu esperjenza tal-emerġenza jagħmel. Huma mistoqsijiet leġittimi. “Nixtieq li toħroġ din l-istorja forsi l-awtoritajiet jagħmlu xi ħaġa dwar dan id-dewmien. Donnu morna għall-agħar bl-isptar il-ġdid,” tgħidli Josephine. “Fl-istess sala ta’ stennija li kont fiha jien kien hemm tifla b’uġigħ li l-ġenituri ssuspettaw kien tal-appendix. Din it-tifla kienet ilha l-isptar mill-5pm tistenna fl-emerġenza. Sal-4am ta’ filgħodu, meta tlaqt jien kien għadu ma raha l-ebda tabib,” tispjega Josephine. It-tama tal-anzjana hi li l-affarijiet jitjiebu għax qed tinħoloq inġustizzja fuq min ma jiflaħx iħallas. “Kont fortunata li kelli l-flus biex immur privat. Imma li kieku l-ispiża kienet ferm iktar, jew ma kontx niflaħ inħallas kont nibqa’ nistenna fl-Emerġenza bit-tama li xi darba jarani tabib,” tgħid Josephine.
The Malta Independent on Sunday 2.11.2008
A week ago I fractured my elbow after tripping in a pothole on the Qui-si-Sana seafront! I realised from the acute pain in my elbow and wrist that something was terribly wrong and asked my sister (who was with me) to take me to the Mater Dei Emergency Department. She advised me against it as she had heard that there were enormous delays. I insisted on the state-of-the-art Mater Dei and we arrived there some 20 minutes later. I was dropped off at the Emergency Entrance while my sister went to find a parking place. This took a good 10 minutes. In the meantime I looked for some staff to advise me where the Emergency Ward was – I could see none so I ventured to the only operating desk, that of Melita Cable. I asked the staff at the Melita desk to guide me to customer care. The reply was followed with a great laugh “Ilhom li telqu Sinjura” (They left a long time ago Madam) – the time was 19:30. Melita told me where the Emergency Department proper was to be found. My sister by now had arrived and after a further 10-minute walk we arrived at the Emergency area in the lower ground floor. Once there I told the personnel that I was in terrible pain and that I needed urgent attention, and possibly an immediate X-Ray. There was nothing doing. I was informed that I had to join the other 50 odd waiting suffering souls and take my place in the queue. I simply called it a day and asked my sister to take me to the Emergency Unit at a private hospital where, I may add, the attention and care here was excellent, caring and professional. What impressed me most on my first and hopefully my last visit to the Emergency Department at Mater Dei were the scruffy walls, discarded top-up cards, litter strewn all over the floor right next to a garbage bin; the vast areas of unused space, and the excessive wastage of energy/electricity. But, by far my most damning observation of all is that there was no visible sign of any medical or lay hospital staff!
The Malta Independent on Sunday 2.11.2008
It all started a month ago, when I could not even lift a glass of water because of immense pain in my arms, so much so that when I finally decided to tell a friend of mine who works in hospital, she advised me to have it seen to. I got to Casualty at 4am, but since I had not been called by 8am, I had to leave and obviously I was angry. That same evening, as I was still in such pain, I went to the polyclinic. The service was very quick and I was out in a matter of minutes after having been prescribed some painkillers. The doctor said I had nothing to worry about as it was not life threatening. However, as the days went by, the pain worsened and I was persuaded to visit the hospital once again. On 16 October, I was back in Casualty, where I underwent a battery of tests, blood samples, X-rays, and physicals. They recommended that I be admitted for more tests, which I refused. They diagnosed probable fibromyalgia and I was prescribed medication. The pain increased and spread, so on 19 October I went once again to casualty, and had to undergo the same battery of tests I had three days earlier. However, they did not increase or amend the medication and I left none the wiser. On 22 October, I went to Casualty for the third time, feeling feverish and weak, apart from the unbearable pain. This time I accepted admittance to avoid having to undergo all the tests a third time. I was given a heavy painkiller, which did not work, and my doctor, Dr Lyn Grech was very worried and concerned, coming to see to me, at various intervals. Once I was in my ward, I realised that I had not been given my medication and when my friend went to enquire, the ward staff realised that they were not aware that I had to have further painkillers. My consultant came to see me next day at 11.30am. When he asked how I was feeling, I answered that I was very much in pain, very weak and could hardly move. Once again I had to undergo a painful physical examination, after which I was advised that I was fine and I could go home. As soon as he left my bedside, the nurse came up to me requesting that I move to the waiting room, as they needed my bed. I was given an outpatient appointment in six months’ time! The questions arise… who is this doctor? How can he assume that I am fine when I was feeling so much pain and was so weak? I resisted being admitted, and it seems that I must have had an insight as to what was about to happen. To this day, I am still very much in pain and none the wiser as to what my condition entails, its progression and how to combat it.
I was sent to the Mater Dei by my GP In November 2007 with a threatened Miscarriage , Bleeding heavily I was not offered the luxury of a wheel chair but had to walk ,aided by my husband from the A&E department to the Gynae out patients department , where they then told Me to go to the antenatal ward as I shouldn't have been sent to them. Walking again , and getting lost on the way! I had a full miscarriage and had to go back two weeks later to the Gynae outpatients for a further ultrasound and a meeting with the consultant. When arriving the security guard at the door of the department would not allow my husband to come in with me,saying that the appointment was for me and not him. What immense care I thought! to allow me to have my ultrasound without the support of my husband! When challenged about other men waiting with their partners in the department all my husband got was a shrug of the shoulders! Incidentally the Customer Care Department was never manned when we went to complain. Common decency and caring? Not then!
The Sunday Times 18.1.2009
A young woman pregnant with her first child has spoken of her ordeal after being mistakenly told by hospital staff that she had miscarried. Sitting on the sofa with a protective arm around her nine-week-old bump, Chantelle Aquilina, 20, recounted how she and her husband grappled with the news that they had lost their baby. When Ms Aquilina first saw the blue line on her home pregnancy test, signalling a positive result, the couple were elated. She immediately scheduled an appointment with her gynaecologist, who told her she was four weeks pregnant. However, three days later Ms Aquilina suspected there may be a problem after seeing a brown discharge, known as spotting, though she experienced no abdominal pain. Her gynaecologist set her mind at rest, but Ms Aquilina still felt the need to go to Mater Dei Hospital to eliminate niggling doubts. Her husband dropped her off at the hospital's emergency department, where her situation was deemed a priority. “I didn't wait very long and was treated very well. They even put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the antenatal ward,” she said. There, she explained her situation to the nurse and they asked her to undergo a urine test, which again established she was pregnant. Ms Aquilina eventually underwent an ultrasound, which she described as taking place “too quickly an examination”, and it was at this point that she was told she was about to miscarry. “My husband and I just stood there and stared blankly at the woman, trying to digest what she had just told us. She was just so blunt, saying that all she saw was a kind of deformed sac... I mean there's a life at stake,” she said. The woman led them to the doctor's office with the scans in hand, seemingly oblivious to their state of shock. The doctor was not as categorical in his diagnosis and it seemed there was still a ray of hope. However, after seeking advice he reached the conclusion that there was no embryo in the sac and Ms Aquilina was informed she was going to miscarry in a few days. The doctor advised her to return if a miscarriage did not happen naturally within two weeks to establish whether medical intervention was required. “I was speechless. We really wanted this baby,” she said, adding that unable to sleep, the next day she went to see her gynaecologist straight away. After undergoing another ultrasound, the gynaecologist established she was still pregnant and everything was developing normally. “I felt confused, yet elated. During the ultrasound we could even hear a heartbeat. My mind was going over everything that had happened within 24 hours. I had gone from nursing a loss to being told everything is fine,” she added. Now nine weeks pregnant, Ms Aquilina felt she should come forward because she does not want other women to go through a similar experience. “As of today everything is going well. The authorities must ensure the right personnel are employed at the maternity section.” An independent gynaecologist told The Sunday Times that Mrs Busuttil's case was a “very unusual mistake”. “Such a situation is not common at all, but everybody is human and fallible,” he said. He said that in such cases women should not rush and instead wait to undergo another scan within a week to better gauge the situation. When contacted, a health secretariat spokesman said the issue was being investigated. The spokesman urged people with complaints to immediately lodge a report with the hospital's customer care section.
Pio Dalli, Swieqi
The Times 24.1.2009
A Maltese citizen, who happens to be a relative of mine, had a very serious accident at home and his family doctor advised calling an ambulance to take him to Mater Dei Hospital. An ambulance manned by a specialised team arrived in no time. The citizen was rushed to the Emergency Department where he was diagnosed with a severely dislocated shoulder and a possibility of some brain damage as a result of the accident. Following diagnosis he was admitted to the surgical ward from where he was transferred to the orthopaedics ward two days later, to be operated upon. This was a four-bed ward where he was the only male. As from the following midnight this Maltese citizen was starved so that he would be operated upon during the day. At 3 p.m. he was informed that surgery had to be postponed because of more severe cases. This went on for the following five days with this Maltese citizen wearing only a flimsy overall and no possibility of moving around because he was on drip. The staff were excellent people, trying to make a very difficult situation look rather pleasant. But on one occasion, when because of a splitting headache he asked for a sandwich at 4 p.m., after being informed that surgery had once again been postponed and after having been without food, water and analgesics of any sort from the previous midnight, he was told that there was nothing available and that he had to wait for dinner. But the worst was still to come. When he was being taken for the operation, somebody realised that blood test results, which were taken at the Emergency Department, had been lost and surgery was once again postponed. Blood was again extracted and sent to the laboratory to be tested. All this to the consternation of the patient. Finally he was operated upon and the medical services provided were excellent. He had nothing to grumble about except the postponements that seemed never ending. A similar case involving an 87-year-old man, who is also a relative of mine and who had a broken hip-bone, happened about a year ago. The postponements went on for five days. Definitely someone must be held accountable for all these things. It is someone who is getting paid from the taxes that I and other honest citizens pay. I am ready to furnish all the relevant details of these cases to the appropriate authorities.
Godwin Drago, Sliema
The Times 14.3.2009
What is the use of having a state-of-the-art hospital and then not having enough doctors to man it? Last Saturday I had a bad accident while mounting the half-metre pavement at the Sliema Ferries when I tripped, fell and banged the back of my head on the tarmac. A lot of blood came out and the duty policeman summoned an ambulance. When I asked to be taken to the Gżira health clinic, where there is a personal file about me, the man insisted on taking me to Mater Dei Hospital. We arrived at 11.45 a.m. and I was taken on a wheelchair into the emergency waiting room. A nurse dressed my wound but insisted that I be seen by a doctor. By 5.30 p.m. I was still waiting without any clue as to when I was due to be seen. In the end, I gave up and left without being seen by a doctor. So much for state-of-the-art!
Robert Gauci, Hamrun
The Times 5.10.2009
Our politicians boast and blabber how good Mater Dei Hospital is, but I can prove them wrong. It should be called Mater Dei Circus. My daughter of one year and seven months got injured, and had her toe and foot covered in blood, and we took her immediately to the emergency section. My wife went to the reception with the child in her arms, blood dripping off her toe. She was told to wait for her turn without even a bit of etiquette, as is demanded from people who work in such an environment. After more than 45 minutes walking back and forth I went up to the reception and talked to the same lady, where arrogantly enough I was told to sit down. I asked to talk to the head in the ER but she said there was no supervisor or head of department, and if I had any problem I should go talk to the security. I went up to the security and told him my situation and he too told me to wait but I did not stop there. I continued arguing for five minutes showing him my daughter and her injury and he went into a room next to the reception area and I was immediately called in. They advised me to go and make an appointment for an X-ray where we had to wait for another 30 minutes. After the X-ray was done we were told to go back to the emergency section so a doctor could see us. Guess what? We had to wait for another 30 minutes until a doctor popped by. He guided us to a room and told us to wait until he saw the X-ray. I knew this was going to be a waiting game and my daughter was in pain so I had to do something. I went after the doctor and pressured him to check the X-ray up and tell us what to do. Indeed, when one puts pressure one gets results, and the doctor did check everything as I could see him from behind the main desk. We went back to the room and he advised my wife and I that he would send someone to take care of my daughter’s toe. I guess he was the only fast doctor there because after 40 minutes, two nurses came by and started to take care of my daughter. Then we were told to go with the given papers to make another appointment for a week later. On the designated day my wife went by herself to hospital as I could not leave work due to company reasons. The appointment was at 10.30 a.m. and again they had to wait at the orthopaedics section for more than an hour and 15 minutes before being seen. The nurses took off my daughter’s bandage and they told her that her toe was okay and healed. They also told my wife to go to the waiting room so a doctor could see her. She went out and after more than 20 minutes waiting my daughter moved that same foot and banged her toe again, opening her scar again and blood gushed out. If there was not that waiting time all would have been well. The personnel on duty did not even bother to take her in as my wife was still told to wait, but seeing our daughter in that state she left the hospital and took her to an emergency private clinic, where instead of waiting the doctor was already there waiting for them. That is the service that should be given by Mater Dei Hospital instead of having to attend a private clinic and paying a lot of money to get a wonderful service. I hope this letter is seen by our local politicians. We are in the year 2009 but I think this island is stuck in the past.
“Dan hu kollox barra s-servizz li kien imwiegħed il-poplu Malti fl-Isptar Mater Dei,” sostnew persuni li tkellmu ma’ din il-gazzetta wara esperjenza oħra kerha fl-Isptar. “B’kollox għamilna 11-il siegħa nistennew b’anzjana ta’ 86 sena fis-siġgu tar-roti sakemm inqdejna kif suppost,” sostniet qariba tal-anzjana. Il-familja tispjega li x’ħin waslu l-Emerġenza għamlu tmien sigħat u nofs jistennew biex jarahom xi ħadd. “Imbagħad it-tabib li ġie jara lill-anzjana rreferiena għal tabib ieħor: it-tabib tas-sala. Għamilna siegħa u nofs oħra nistennew bl-pazjenta fis-siġġu tar-roti. Hi sitwazzjoni inaċċettabbli li pazjent jitħalla f’dik il-qagħda mingħajr ma jingħata s-servizz u l-kura li għandu bżonn.” Bħal fil-ħafna mill-każi li daħlu quddiem din il-gazzetta, l-Emerġenza tal-Isptar Mater Dei qed tispiċċa bi kjuwijiet kbar ta’ nies u b’sigħat esaġeratament twal ta’ stennija. “X’ħin ġbidna l-attenzjoni li hi sitwazzjoni tal-mistħija li konna ilna disa’ sigħat u nofs nistennew b’anzjana ta’ 86 sena, ħaddiem weġibna li l-età ma kienx fattur li jagħmel differenza fl-ammont ta’ ħin li wieħed idum jistenna.” Kien f’dan il-punt li l-ħaddiema tal-Isptar saħansitra ċemplu lill-Pulizija biex imorru fuq il-post. “Il-Pulizija kienu edukati u fehmu s-sitwazzjoni li konna fiha,” kompliet il-familja tal-anzjana. Il-ħin baqa’ għaddej b’aktar sigħat ta’ stennija u frustrazzjoni. Kellu jkun fis-1.15 ta’ filgħodu sakemm l-anzjana ġiet rikoverata f’sodda f’waħda mis-swali tal-Mater Dei … ferm ’l bogħod mis-servizz ta’ eċċellenza li l-poplu kien imwiegħed fl-Isptar li l-Gvern laqqmu “state of the art”.
F’Novembru 2005 jien stess kelli l-isfortuna li nduq St. Luke’s. Halli tkunu tafu kemm is-servizz tas-sahha kien eccellenti f’St. Luke’s:
Dan fis-sena 2005 u mhux fi sptar ta’ pajjiz tat-tielet dinja imma fl-isptar principali ta’ pajjiz membru tal-Unjoni Ewropea.
Il-progett tal-isptar Mater Dei se jibqa msemmi fl-istorja ta' Malta bhala wahda mill-aktar balbuljati enormi li ghamel il-gvern Nazzjonalista. Mhux ghax l-idea innifisha kienet hazina, imma ghax mill-bidu nett, kif kien tfassal, il-kuntratti kif hargu, l-abbuzi li saru, l-iffinanzjar tal-progett u t-tahwid li hemm imdawwar ma' dan l-isptar jirrenduh bhala tbazwira enormi kif jaf jaghmel tajjeb il-Partit Nazzjonalista fil-gvern. Kien hemm xi haga li saret bhan-nies f'dan il-progett? L-intricci jdawru l-Isptar Mater Dei huma bizzejjed biex fuqhom jinhadem film f'Hollywood. U meta se jkun lest dan l-imbierek ta' sptar? Ilhom jghidulna dati differenti. Imma bhal ma jigri s-soltu, il-gvern Nazzjonalista jidhol ghal xi haga b'ghajnejh maghluqa la jaf minn fejn se jibda u wisq anqas fejn u meta se jispicca. L-istorja ta' dan l-isptar hija twila hafna tant li trid website shiha ghaliha biss. Imma gbart uhud mill-punti ewlenin biex wiehed jiehu idea ta' x'tahwid hemm fil-progett.
“The more we hear about the proposed San Raffaele hospital, the more understandable becomes government's policy of silence...” Hekk qal Dr. Karl Causon, segretarju tal-MAM f'The Sunday Times tat-23 t'April 1995.
"The San Raffaele hospital project should be shelved until everything is straightened out." editorjal ta' The Malta Independent tal-14 ta' Mejju 1995 u kompliet, "MAM ... against the new hospital project claiming that it is absurd to invest Lm60 million in a new hospital before addressing chronic deficiencies at St. Luke's hospital." Tista ma taqbilx mal-MAM fuq din? U bilhaqq, rajtuha s-somma … Lm60 miljun kienet fl-1995. S'issa din telghet ghal aktar minn Lm200 miljun!! X'jimporta, l-aqwa li l-flus m'humiex tal-ministri tal-kabinet imma tal-poplu. Dr. Fenech Adami stess kien stqarr li kien jitwerwer meta jisma kemm diga gie jiswa l-isptar. Ghaliex jitwerwer? Sinjal li l-gvern m'ghamilx il-homework tajjeb.
“Between 1990 - 1994 no official consultations ever took place between MAM and the (Nationalist) government with regards to San Raffaele hospital.” hekk qal Dr. Joseph Pace ex president tal-MAM f'The Times tat-28 ta' Frar 1997. Issa meta tqis li t-tobba huma siehba fl-operat tal-isptar, tibda thokk rasek tiprova tifhem ghaliex il-gvern ma resaqx lejn ir-raprezentanti tat-tobba biex jiddiskuti taghhom dwar elf haga li tolqot l-isptar il-gdid.
Din li gejja hija stqarrija li saret dwar l-intricci fil-kuntratti tal-isptar. M'hijiex xi stqarrija ta' xi membru parlamentari Laburista jew xi ufficjal tal-MLP. Hija stqarrija ta' wiehed mill-eks ministri Nazzjonalisti, hadd hlief Dr. Joe Fenech. L-istqarrija hija daqsxejn twila imma hu mportanti li niflu sew x'qieghed jghid Dr. Fenech. The Times tal-31 ta' Dicembru 2003 irraportat hekk:
"Dr Fenech, a former Nationalist cabinet minister, said the hasty way in which the department of contracts recommended to the government to award the contract to Inso was "simply incredible". He said the contract was characterised by abuse: "the first abuse was carried out by FMS when it decided to recommend that the contract should be awarded to Hospitalia - when it should have disqualified Hospitalia as was in fact done later by the public contracts appeals board. "the second abuse was by the contracts committee when it awarded the contract to Inso despite having the most expensive bid, in terms of price, of the total cost of the equipment according to the definition of price as stated in the tender document and which amounted to €98 million." Dr Fenech said that Inso had failed to include quotations for important items, such as the gamma camera, which were mandatory: "these items were required by the tender document and companies which failed to quote for such important items should have been disqualified." He added that according to the technical experts appointed by the authorities themselves, Inso's bid was "poor and technically inferior" and that it was only 53.72 per cent compliant with the tender requirements. Dr Fenech insisted that Inso's total bid was €10 million higher than Simed's. "the same technical experts had stated that Simed's offer was second best after that of Hospitalia and that Simed was 75.8 per cent complaint." he denied that Simed had been given an opportunity to clarify the areas in which it was not in conformity with the tender document, as the (Nationalist) government had said in its statement. Dr Fenech said the clarification process with Simed never took place: "it is not true that Simed's offer had been re-evaluated and found to be technically inferior to that of Inso. There are serious doubts, according to information in our possession, as to whether the contracts committee met on December 26 after receiving the FMS report. "this process of awarding this contract has taken over two years. However, last Friday the advisory board decided to make its recommendations... On the same evening, the FMS passed on the decision to the director general of contracts who spoke to the government, which decided to accept the recommendation to award the contract to Inso. "on Friday evening, the department of contracts informed Inso of the decision. So what had not been possible to be decided in two years has been decided in one day. It seems that everyone was working 150 miles per hour last Friday to make sure that everything was concluded on that particular day."
Fis-6 ta' Ottubru 2004, The Malta Financial & Business Times fl-editorjal taghha iddeskriviet il-progett tal-isptar il-gdid hekk:
"The Mater Dei hospital saga is fast becoming a national farce. … This project has made countless companies rich and overly profitable, at the expense of the country's coffers. It is a fact that cannot be denied and worse still, it cannot in any way be accepted. … We are speaking here of a monumental overspending culture and an ill thought out national project – one that has led to contributing black holes in the government's national deficit. … To the former Prime Minister who propelled this national disaster in the mid-nineties until last year, there can only be one message: well done for such a mismanaged white elephant."
L-opinjoni ta' The Malta Independent on Sunday tal-31 ta' Ottubru 2004 kienet, "… what is clearly turning out to be the costliest, most confused, most bedevilled enterprise we as a nation have ever undertaken. … the original Ortesa designs just did not make sense. It is ridiculous and unfair to pin all this mess on a government which was there for just 22 months."
Wara laqghat ma' Skansa: "The Mater Dei Hospital will open its doors on July 1, 2007, as the government and Skanska yesterday finally managed to hammer out at agreement over one of the most contentious projects in years. The two main points of contention over the new hospital at Tal-Qroqq were the final costs and the date of completion. A few weeks ago, Dr Gonzi suspended negotiations with Skanska-Malta joint venture pending an explanation and a justification as to why the completion costs for the hospital had ballooned from the original quotation of Lm83.6 million…. The meeting established a figure for the penalties that would have to be paid should the project fail to be completed on time. … There were still a number of issues which had to be resolved, such the purchase of hospital equipment and the plan for migration from St Luke's Hospital, Dr Gonzi said. The function of the Foundation for Medical Services would now have to be "readjusted" since the risk of the expense had been transferred to Skanska. Asked whether he felt the government had ultimately won the tug-of-war with Skanska, Dr Gonzi was diplomatic: "It was give and take from both sides. But we wanted a fixed and realistic opening date, and to establish a penalty if the hospital is not completed in its entirety on time. "Ultimately, we've reached all our aims. They were tough and intense discussions, but we held firm." – The Sunday Times 7.11.2004
Punti ta' riflessjoni:
a) Mela l-isptar suppost se jiftah fis-sena 2007. Dan jigifieri snin shah wara li suppost diga fetah u meta suppost il-pazjenti ilhom li bdew jinghataw kura fih.
b) F'din il-laqgha sar qbil dwar il-penali li jridu jithallsu jekk l-isptar ma jkunx lest fil-hin. Galadarba l-isptar ma tlestiex fil-hin kif kien miftiehem originalment saru hlasijiet ta' penali? Jekk le, ghaliex ma sarux?
c) Jekk wara din il-laqgha ghad baqa kwistjonijiet pendenti, ghaliex Dr. Gonzi qal "we've reached all our aims"?
d) Suppost il-Gvern kien tant imdejjaq bis-sitwazzjoni li Dr. Gonzi ta ultimatum lil Skanska. Allura ghaliex kien hemm kwistjonijiet fejn il-Gvern ceda fuqhom? ("it was give and take from both sides")
e) Il-kliem ta' Dr. Gonzi ma jaghmilx sens, jew "we held firm" inkella "it was give and take". Jekk il-Gvern zamm iebes ma kienx ikun kaz ta' "give and take".
f) Jidher li l-kompromess sar minhabba li ghal darba ohra il-Gvern reha idejh biex jakkomoda lil Skanska ghax kien jaf li kien jiffaccja tharbit akbar li kieku kellu jinnegozja kuntratt iehor mill-gdid ma' kuntratturi ohra.
Informazzjoni mportanti dwar l-Isptar il-gdid
Minn Dr. Michael Farrugia
It is to the credit of the 1996-1998 Labour government that our people will have a new university teaching acute general hospital in the Tal-Qroqq area. When the project was conceived in the early 1990s, the Nationalists were only ready to offer the public split hospital facilities. The Nationalist government had had talks with the Fondazione San Raffaele to open a hospital in Malta. What started as a small private hospital built and run by the Fondazione San Raffaele, ended up with the Nationalist government building a 450-bedded hospital that was to be run by the Fondazione. This hospital was to split the acute service into two: part at the new San Raffaele Hospital at Tal-Qroqq and the rest at the 70-year-old St Luke's Hospital. The Nationalist government was to pay the Fondazione San Raffaele for the medical services provided to patients. It is on record that, at that time, the Nationalist government was examining the possibility of introducing a co-payment system where the patient had to partially pay at source for the medical services provided! It is worth recalling that the Fondazione San Raffaele was handpicked by the Nationalist government and was not chosen as a result of a public call for tenders. Contacts between the Nationalists and the Fondazione were on the basis of contacts with friends of friends! Moreover, the designer (Ortesa Spa) was also chosen without a call for tenders. The designer made a mess of the initial designs and was responsible for the early delays. The building contractors Skanska had in fact made a 12-week delay claim up to January 1996 because of design problems. Furthermore, in March 1996, Skanska maintained that 50 per cent of Ortesa's mechanical drawings required adjustment. When the Labour Party was elected in 1996, I held discussions with all the stakeholders. Everyone was against the concept of split acute hospital services. The stakeholders lamented that they were never consulted by the Nationalists about the new hospital prior to October 1996. Thus, the Labour government inherited the original Nationalists' plans of a construction site that the local medical experts did not agree with. Even more serious is the fact that the Labour government inherited an array of confused input by almost all of those involved in the building of the San Raffaele Hospital at Tal-Qroqq. Suffice it to recall that the hospital basements were partially ready in October 1996 - a time when the hospital was supposedly nearing to being operational! The Labour government of 1996 decided to rationalise the whole concept based on the medical and surgical needs of our people in the 21st century. For this reason, the Labour government commissioned a number of reports in order to be in a position to take informed decisions about the hospital. As a result of these reports, fundamental decisions included:
- the preparation of a new medical brief;
- the concept of the hospital had to change from that of a specialised one of 450 beds to a state-of the art university teaching general hospital of 800 to 1,000 beds;
- the contract of Ortesa Spa had to be terminated and a new call for tenders had to be issued.
There was no significant difference in the costs between the illogical plans of the Nationalists and the rational vision of the Labour government for one hospital at Tal-Qroqq to replace the 70-year-old St Luke's Hospital. The Fondazione San Raffaele disagreed with these comprehensive changes taking place and pulled out. As a result of a public hearing in Parliament, it was decided that Skanska (previously engaged by the Nationalist government of pre-1996) were bound to complete the construction of the hospital on the agreed footprint of the time. Since the Labour government wanted to be transparent in its political decisions, it was decided that any construction outside the existing footprint was to be tendered out. The renowned British hospital designers Norman & Dawbarn were engaged as the new hospital designers after a call for tenders was made. They had estimated that the cost of the construction, together with those of the mechanical and electrical services would be just over Lm70 million and the Tal-Qroqq hospital would be commissioned by the year 2001. Concurrently, the Norfolk and Norwich 850-bedded high technology general acute hospital was being built. Labour singled it out as a benchmark. The British hospital was completed in four years with a total cost of about Lm160 million. Prior to the 1998 election most of the construction of the original footprint had been completed and the interior designs were at an advanced stage.
VALLETTA, Malta (di-ve news) -- April 18, 2007 -- 1135CEST -- The Union Haddiema Maghqudin (UHM) warned it would not be responsible should the employees refuse to migrate to the new Mater Dei Hospital if their queries remain unanswered, as it urged the government to provide information on the migration process. The union pointed out that while the new hospital is scheduled to open in a few weeks' time, the government has spent millions of liri to give the Maltese a modern hospital they deserve but failed to answer the queries of the workers who would be operating the hospital. Workers are feeling confused due to the lack of information on how their transfer to the new hospital will be effected, as well as on how they will be effected by their transfer to Mater Dei and the rehabilitation to St.Luke's Hospital, the UHM said, as it also pointed out that such confusion will reflect negatively on the new hospital once the migration is actually made.
On 1 May 2007, on the Bondiplus programme, I expressed my concern about the enormous costs incurred by the Maltese taxpayer to build and furnish the Mater Dei Hospital. These costs have now been determined to be in the region of Lm250 million. I compared the cost of building Mater Dei in Malta with the cost of building a practically identical hospital abroad – the New Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. I stated that the new Royal Infirmary Hospital was built and fully furnished with all the necessary medical equipment including 25 operating theatres and the same number of beds as Mater Dei at a cost of Lm125 million. I can confirm that my statement was correct. The owner-builders of the New Royal Infirmary are the Morrison Building Consortium and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The owners of the New Royal Infirmary have leased the hospital to the NHS and are getting a good return on their investment but unfortunately, the presenter of the programme, Lou Bondi, used this to fudge the issue. The issue is not the cost of leasing – the issue is how much does it cost to build and furnish a hospital to the same standard as Mater Dei. Why should Mater Dei cost double what it would cost for an identical hospital built in the UK? The Maltese people, who are ultimately footing the bill for Mater Dei, have to judge for themselves.
St Philip’s Hospital
The Malta Independent on Sunday 6.5.2007
“More facts are now coming to light on my statement that there was corruption in the Mater Dei project,” (Frank) Portelli, who has now incurred the wrath of his former party, told MaltaToday yesterday.
“On the other hand – and this is where the opposition Labour Party has every reason to criticise – it must also be admitted that the completion of the project has arrived much, much later than originally anticipated, and that the costs have escalated to Lm250 million when, until a couple of years ago, the government was saying that it would cost half as much. Yes, the MLP is quite right to question why deadlines were not met and why, for example, it was initially said that the first patients would be received at Mater Dei Hospital on 1 July this year, and then later this was changed to simply an official handover of the hospital from the developers to the government. It has now been said that the hospital will be fully functional by the end of the year, and the MLP will be right to push the government to achieve this target. As things stand now, and with the government still in negotiations with the respective unions on how the migration process will take place and on the staff’s working conditions, the MLP is right to raise doubts as to whether the government’s promise will be fulfilled. What is also questionable was the pompous way in which the handover ceremony was conducted, and many people felt that the use of fireworks, just two days after the tragedy in Gharghur, should have been avoided. Now that the handover ceremony is over, what people will be looking forward to is the real opening of the hospital, that is, when it actually receives its first patients and replaces St Luke’s as the government hospital. Let us hope this does not take too long.”
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 7.7.2007
“This state of the art hospital is surely a source of justifiable pride for our islands. The fact that it does not have a child care centre is nothing short of amazing. The fact that the relevant authorities are refusing to adapt to the situation and at least facilitate the continued use of the facilities at St Luke’s is nothing short of shameful. It also does not make any sense. On the one hand we are trying to recruit sorely needed staff for the hospital and trying to encourage women to return to work notwithstanding the fact that they may be raising a family. On the other hand we make next to impossible for them to do so. A bit of common sense is in order.”
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando
Staff shortages will mean that at least two wards and a number of operating theatres will not be functioning upon migration to Mater Dei Hospital, The Times has learnt. One of the two urology wards and a paediatrics ward will not open when the migration process from St Luke's Hospital is completed, the reason being a shortage of nurses. This was confirmed by a Mater Dei spokesman who said the paediatrics day care unit and a second urology ward will “open in due course” because they are an improvement on the current hospital services and not available at St Luke's Hospital.
The Times 24.10.2007
Women about to give birth would have had to go through a crowd of people in the foyer to reach the delivery room at Mater Dei Hospital had it not been for midwives who pointed out the design flaw. The obstetrics wards, where women are accommodated in the first hours of the birth process, and the delivery rooms are separated by a foyer, which acts as a waiting area. As a result, when labour starts, the mothers-to-be have to walk or be wheeled through the waiting area. Midwives immediately pointed out the matter to the hospital administration when they were taken on a tour of the place a few months back. “Besides being an embarrassing moment for some women, given our culture, relatives waiting in the foyer will likely want to greet their family member as she goes through... It's just not on. We told them about the problem and they said security personnel will be present whenever a woman is being taken through to the delivery room,” one midwife said. However, when contacted, a spokesman for the Foundation for Medical Services said that a partition will be mounted in the foyer to make the transit a little more discreet. The Times 27.10.2007
That the hospital took much, much longer than expected to be built and passed on to the government is something about which there is no doubt. That the costs rose exponentially from the initial estimates is also correct. That the migration plan that will see the health services transferred from St Luke’s Hospital to Tal-Qroqq, has also taken its time, is also a fair comment that can be made.
Editorjal, The Malta Independent 12.11.2007
The hospital press people made much of the fact that there was one ITU patient per ambulance and that they were assisted all the (short) way from St Luke’s to Tal-Qroqq but viewers could see for themselves the patients coming out of the cosy heat of the ITU and trundled past ambulances belching fumes and other vehicles to the waiting ambulances. Could it have been done differently? Or rather, could not there have been any other way to avoid the need to transfer patients in such a delicate state of health? Or at least, could there not have been a way to get the ambulances inside the hospital? Spokesmen for Mater Dei disagree: they say that patients are moved only when the consultants say there is no danger for them and that patient safety is paramount all the way through. But then, health and security at the ITU has long been deteriorating. There was a time, years ago, when entry to ITU was restricted to one visitor per day for a very short period, and that visitor had to be fully clothed in sterilised garments from head to toe. Progressively, or regressively, such strictness was later relaxed and until recently any number of people could be seen wandering about. Even when the walls needed painting, it is said, this was done in the presence of patients. Even during migration to Mater Dei there were episodes such as the famous Albert Fenech operation and a visit to ITU at St Luke’s where journalists were allowed in without protective clothing.
The Malta Independent on Sunday 18.11.2007
Billboards madwar Malta u Għawdex jgħidu biċ-ċar li kulmin jixtieq jinforma ruħu dwar l-isptar il-ġdid jista’ jċempel fuq in-numru 158. Madankollu eżerċizzju li wettqet din il-gazzetta wera kif din il-linja mhux qed tiffunzjona kif suppost. Minn 12-il telefonata li għamilna f’ħinijiet differenti f’żewġ ġranet differenti din il-ġimgħa rnexxielna naqbdu darba biss. Dan ikkonferma numru ta’ ilmenti li waslu għand din il-gazzetta min-nies li ċemplu fuq in-numru 158 u ma rnexxilhomx jitkellmu ma’ xi ħadd. Madankollu kelliem għall-Mater Dei sostna ma’ din il-gazzetta li ma kellu l-ebda kumment x’jagħmel. “Din hi l-ewwel darba li qed nisma’ lment bħal dan,” sostna l-kelliem għall-Mater Dei meta kien ikkonfrontat minn Illum. Hu tenna li f’inqas minn tliet ġimgħat kienu mwieġba iktar minn 8,000 telefonata u ċaħad li l-problema kienet dovuta għan-nuqqas ta’ impjegati fuq il-linji tat-telefon. Jibqa’ l-fatt li mill-eżerċizzju li għamlet Illum in-numru 158 mhux effiċjenti kif wieħed jistenna li jkun. Fuq medda ta’ jumejn, bejn il-Ħamis u l-Ġimgħa, ċempilna 12-il darba biex naraw kemm-il telefonata tkun imwieġba. Il-ħinijiet li ppruvajna nċemplu kienu bejn l-10am u l-12.15pm. Drabi oħra ppruvajna wkoll wara nofsinhar bejn is-2pm u l-4pm. Minn 12-il telefonata, f’darbtejn minnhom lanqas biss daħlet il-linja. F’disa’ telefonati oħra t-telefon baqa’ jdoqq għal iktar minn minuta mingħajr ma ħadna tweġiba. Fl-unika telefonata li ġiet mwieġba staqsejna jekk f’każ ta’ emerġenza fejn għandu jmur pazjent jekk hux Mater Dei jew l-isptar San Luqa. It-tweġiba kienet li jkun aħjar jekk wieħed imur l-Isptar San Luqa.
The new Mater Dei Hospital canteen is charging astronomical prices. A ham and cheese sandwich costs 52c and a coffee, served in a Styrofoam cup, is 40c. One wonders what a family Sunday lunch would cost, with the added cost of parking (Lm1.25 for one and a half hours).
On The Dot 26.11.2007
Food was being heated and distributed irregularly, risking food poisoning. – MUMN, timesofmalta.com, 16.2.2012, 08:32
The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses will start talks with the Health Department today to discuss problems which have been growing since Mater Dei Hospital opened. MUMN president Paul Pace said this morning that the union had been asking for talks on this issue for the past four years. Listing the problems at the hospital, Mr Pace said one did not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that a hospital which had fewer beds than the overcrowded hospital it replaced, would immediately run into problems. The main problems, therefore, stemmed from overcrowding in the Emergency Department, the Maternity Ward and ITU, as well as some other wards. The hospital, he said, needed a whole new wing in order to raise the number of beds. But having more beds was only part of the solution, because the hospital also needed more nurses to cope with the number of patients, and better equipment. He said that if today's meeting did not start the road to solutions, the union could take industrial action. He said such actions would not include strikes, but rather, actions to reduce load on nurses so that they could prioritise their contact with patients. "Patients are currently being treated lick sacks of potatoes, squeezed wherever there is space" he said. Referring to a Health Department statement yesterday that it was only prepared to engage more day nurses to cope with demand, Mr Pace insisted that Mater Dei needed more day and night nurses. He also called for changes in work practices. For example, he said, since consultants did not work Sundays, there were no discharges on that day and this had a ripple affect on bed availability.
timesofmalta.com, 23.2.2012, 11:15
An investigation into the building of Mater Dei Hospital found that the way the project was handled was anything but professional. A report by the National Audit Office puts to shame all the stakeholders but particularly the Foundation for Medical Services, which was responsible for the project. … In the case of the Mater Dei project, as in others over the years, it would seem no checks and balances were in place or, else, they were ineffective. The ultimate victim of an administration’s lack of foresight is the taxpayer who would have to bear the extra cost often incurred through negligence or mishandling. Much was made three years ago about defects found in the construction of the hospital, prompting the Finance Minister to order an investigation. He felt there were significant doubts on the levels of good governance, transparency and sound financial management throughout the process leading to the design, building, execution, certification, payment, completion and eventual closure of the entire project between 1989 and 2011. Doubts were also raised on whether the applicable national and EU procurement and financial directives and regulations were adhered to. These were good reasons that merited investigating but the Auditor General said he was unable to carry out a comprehensive audit “primarily due to the significant lack of documentation with respect to all stages of the project”. Did such documentation exist or were documents ‘misplaced’ at some point? The Audit Office felt the foundation’s inability to provide basic information relating to a project of this magnitude represented an institutional failure and gross negligence in the administration of public funds. This is not to mention also the waiver clause that exposed the government to “significant risks”, even if there are different interpretations about what the waiver really entailed. Moreover, an inadequate and unreliable audit trail detracted from the expected level of accountability, transparency, fairness and governance warranted in this project of national importance. The report shows an unbelievable degree of lack of administrative responsibility. This was further accentuated by the reaction of politicians who had been involved in the project at the time and were approached by this newspaper for their comment on the audit findings, one of them even saying he had now left politics and had nothing to say. He was not the first ‘retired’ Nationalist politician to take such a stand. One remains accountable to the decisions one makes, especially in politics.
Editorjal, The Times 25.5.2018
Dr. Frank Portelli (ex President tal-PN) dwar is-sitwazzjoni fil-Mater Dei
Kemm se nkunu hallasna ghall-isptar il-gdid? Alla biss jaf!!
1995 qalulna - 324m Ewro
2003 qalulna - 466m Ewro
2007 qalulna - 583m Ewro
2010 qalulna - 344m Ewro
2011 qalulna - 345m Ewro
Skond Laurence Gonzi
Skond Tonio Fenech
Skond il-Ministeru tas-Sahha
Seven doctors were this morning charged with the involuntary homicide of a two- year-old-girl, Aimee Abela, through negligence and misdiagnosis, at Mater Dei Hospital two years ago. All pleaded not guilty to the single charge. Lawyers Michael Sciriha and Joe Giglio asked the court to ban the publication of their names. Dr Giglio said that the proceedings should be heard behind closed doors. There was a whole ward in the dock he exclaimed. Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi appearing for the victims' family, objected to the request. Dr Giglio said that once taken to court, people were condemned by public perception. Dr Azzopardi interjected, saying that the fact that there was a ban would make the matter worse because the whole hospital would be blamed. Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona agreed to a ban on the names.
VITAL TEST NOT MADE
Court-appointed expert Forensic Pathologist Mario Scerri testified that during a magisterial inquiry he examined the dead body and presented a report after also speaking to witnesses. He said that the girl died from meningitis. This was a case of a child who, in February two years ago, had been vomiting and was given voltaren and taken to St James. She was examined, given medication, and taken home. On the next day she still had a temperature and a doctor, one of the accused, recommended that she take motilium. Later she was taken to Mater Dei Hospital. The girl was alert when she was taken to Mater Dei. There was evidence she had a bacterial infection but for some reason her urine sample was not taken to the lab for analysis, Dr Scerri said. Nor was she given antibiotics at that time. Her mother called the same doctor, who also worked at Mater Dei, and he said that he was at children's outpatients and could not see her. The mother called again after a few hours and insisted that he see her. She spoke to her own doctor, and he told her that there was a bacterial infection. When she relayed the information to the doctor at Mater Dei, he told her that it was for him to decide and not someone else. The girl later died and an autopsy was ordered.
Dr Scerri said it was established that bacterial meningitis caused the death. Dr Scerri said that when called to testify before him during the magisterial inquiry several of the accused exercised their right to silence. He regretted that none of the doctors had performed a septic screen test on the young patient. In one of the entries in the medical records, one of the doctors said that the child looked miserable. Later he said 'very miserable' and 'extremely miserable'. And yet nobody picked up on the fact that there was a bacterial infection. Replying to questions, Dr Scerri said that in this type of bacterial infection one could have full blown presentation of symptoms or no symptom,s but one did not go with presentation only. Taking the witness stand, microbiologist Chris Barbara, chairman of the pathology department said blood tests were carried out on the child. It resulted that her white blood cells were elevated but that could mean that there was a inflammation or an infection or both. These results are done in real time. The results were uploaded online but other tests were not requested.