St Vincent de Paul - doctors praised - 1/6/2005

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St Vincent de Paul
Doctors, nurses welcome audit results
Cynthia Busuttil

Doctors' and nurses' unions are happy that the recently published audit of the St Vincent de Paul residence found medical and nursing services to be of a satisfactory level.

Contacted by The Times, Medical Association of Malta (MUMN) general secretary Martin Balzan expressed his satisfaction that residents were content with the level of medical and nursing services provided.

Likewise, Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses president Rudolph Cini said the report made it clear that the level of care was satisfactory.

The audit, which was conducted by Auditor General Joe G. Galea, was presented to Parliament last week. While it reported that residents were happy with the medical, nursing and caring services provided, it highlighted that an inspection of the kitchen raised concern, since there was "a high risk of an outbreak of food-borne diseases".

Questioned about this, Mr Cini, who is also the infection control officer at the residence for the elderly, said he was aware that there were concerns related to food safety, adding that the problems stemmed from financial concerns. He said the kitchen needed changing.

The residents also gave a poor rating to catering services. Dr Balzan said it was desirable to have good food, adding that the onus of ensuring hygiene fell on the hospital authorities.

The audit also found that although the residents had a minimum of 6.5 hours of free time daily, most of it was not utilised. Mr Cini said while this was true, there were times when the residents themselves did not want to take part in activities which were organised for them.

When contacted, a spokesman for parliamentary secretary Helen D'Amato simply said that the Health, Elderly and Community Care Ministry was evaluating and discussing the report, but did not elaborate further.

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