Call for provision of certain health services in the community - 23/6/2006

link to The Times

Call for provision of certain health services in the community
The importance of certain health services being available within the community was yesterday highlighted by the president of the Malta Chamber of Family Doctors Pierre Mallia.

Such services include rehabilitation therapy for patients who suffer from a stroke.

During a meeting with Labour Party leader Alfred Sant, Dr Mallia said certain patients are wasting a whole morning to be taken to hospital by van, undergo their half-hour treatment, and then return home. If such services were offered at health centres, the time would be reduced by two-thirds.

The meeting, which was also attended by a delegation from the chamber and by MLP officials, revolved around the party's recently launched document about the health system.

Dr Mallia spoke positively about the document's mention of access to patients' files by family doctors. He said that although the information belongs to the patient, a patient would not necessarily be able to interpret it. Therefore, family doctors should be able to access the files with the patients' consent.

Dr Mallia said there was room for improvement at health centres.

Dr Sant said the party was meeting with different entities that had an interest in the health sector so that they would take their suggestions into account when compiling the final draft of the document.

The MLP, he added, gave a lot of importance to the primary health sector. He reiterated a comment he made on several occasions, that while state-offered care was good, the standard of the service offered was dropping, stressing the need for better management.

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