The millions which have been spent on the Vitals and Stewards deal should have been spent on the hospital infrastructure which Malta desperately needs, both MUMN and MAM told The Malta Independent on Sunday.
“In the last six years, we have seen very little works at our hospitals and no work whatsoever on big capital projects which this government continues to mention time and time again,” said MUMN President Paul Pace.
This newsroom contacted both 8Paul Pace from The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) and Martin Balzan from the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) and asked them what the government should announce in the 2021 budget when it comes to the health sector.
Both unions stressed on the of the lack of infrastructure at certain hospitals and medical institutions.
Pace expressed how one hospital in particular, Mount Carmel, is not even safe to work in. “Mount Carmel is the worst hospital, not just in Malta, but in Europe. All refurbishments have been on hold and there are very little funds for it. We expect the government to allocate the necessary funding for this hospital, after all the times it has mentioned it will refurbish it, but this never materialised.”
He mentioned that there are also a number of capital projects which have been mentioned numerous times, but nothing has been done about them. “There is the famous outpatients with a huge underground parking at Mater Dei Hospital, the Mother and Child hospital, the Northern Hub polyclinic, and the famous new mental health hospital which is to be built next to Mater Dei; all these have been mentioned numerous times but no projects have actually started, let alone been completed.”
He pointed out that, in the last six years, the government has added two wards next to Mater Dei and began the development of the new health centre in Paola, which Pace mentioned was planned back in the time when the Nationalist Party was in government.
“We lack infrastructure, and the current medical facilities are not coping. We have been opening corridors and wards at Mater Dei which are not meant to host patients, and this cannot continue happening.”
MAM’s Martin Balzan highlighted that instead of pouring money down the drain with the Vitals and Stewards agreement, that money could have been put towards the infrastructure of local hospitals. “The controversial concession has wasted millions, when that money could have been spent on outpatients or the mental health hospital,” he said.
Pace echoed the same thoughts when it came to the Vitals and Stewards deal.
“We had to take up an industrial action against Steward so that our physiotherapists at St Luke’s would have their ward refurbished; imagine all that money spent on Vitals being invested in our own hospitals,” he said.