MAM response to article in Malta Independent - 12/12/2006

link to The Independent

link to orginal articlie in The Independent

The health service – MAM’s views
by Martin Balzan

From Dr M. Balzan

I refer to the article “The green-eyed bypass” by Marisa Micallef (TMIS, 3 December).

First of all I want to thank Ms Micallef for showing her appreciation of the sterling work being done by our young generation of doctors at the Accident and Emergency Department.

She correctly states there is an unacceptably long waiting list for a cataract operation. The vast majority of such patients have little or no vision in the affected eye and MAM sees no justification for Ms Micallef to blame the consultant surgeon for not labelling a patient with cataract as “urgent” so that he can jump the queue.

Indeed, a large number of operations are performed, including a rather long operating session on Sunday. Unfortunately, more surgeons, more theatre time and support services are necessary to deal with the very large load.

The Maltese health services are being overwhelmed with diseases related to ageing, and adequate planning by the health authorities is necessary to deal with the ever increasing demand.

While choosing not to comment on the unsubstantiated allegations of “green-eyed jealousy” by some “union representatives” may I remind Ms Micallef that Malta joined the European Union in May 2004. As a result, strict articles introducing sacrosanct principles of justice and equity of treatment in the workplace have been introduced into Malta’s employment law.

The Maltese medical profession provides an all round good service in all the various specialities. It is indeed the responsibility of the government to invest in medical human resources as it has done with its massive investment in the building of the new hospital.

Martin Balzan

General Secretary

The Medical Association of Malta

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