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The Medical Association of Malta refers to the WHO report which has again put Malta’s health care in the top league. Mortality figures are very low and life expectancy long, in spite of the higher burden in Malta of diabetes (which is a major killer) and of generally high levels of atmospheric pollution. Other measures of the quality of health care such as infant mortality, maternal mortality and outcome of specific diseases and surgical procedures are also excellent. These are very significant results and should make the whole country proud and confirm results by a survey by Prof. Mario Vassallo showing a high level of satisfaction with health services.

What makes these results even more remarkable is that they were achieved with considerable medical manpower deficiencies and at per capita costs which were amongst the lowest, about 40% of that in the UK and 30% of that in Germany. All this is a tribute to doctors who have reached such a high level of excellence and give so much for so little.

Despite their competence and dedication, doctors have had to face a persistent smear campaign on the profession. This has been done in the form of press leaks of half-baked and inaccurate data. Does it make sense to systematically attack a sector which is highly productive, dedicated and competent? Indeed the whole country should be proud that it has one of the best health services in the world.

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