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Health Reforms: Call on Government to thread carefully - 3/9/2004

The Medical Association of Malta calls on the government to start discussing the proposed health with it without further delay. Unfortunately, MAM has, to date, not been consulted on the proposed reforms.

These reforms have up to this present time, only been discussed within the MCESD, where MAM is not directly represented. It is indeed strange that the government has chosen to exclude from discussions those who hold most expertise on the matter and who have a direct interest on the subject.

The health system in Malta is doing very well and the surveys have consistently shown high public satisfaction. Any radical changes that are contemplated must therefore be well-thought out and discussed extensively with the experts as well as with all stakeholders. In the words of Dr. Appelyard, President of the World Medical Association, experience has shown that a radical change to a health care system that is already performing well has an 80% chance of resulting in deterioration of the service.


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Comments By MAM president to The Times

http://www.timesofmalta.com/core/article.php?id=163589

The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) is calling on the government to meet with it to discuss proposed health reforms.

Contacted by The Times, MAM president Stephen Fava said there were a number of "important" points in the proposed health reforms which the association did not agree with.

However, he said, MAM was not directly represented on the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD), and therefore did not have first-hand information about the proposed reforms.

He did not say what the proposed reforms were because they were confidential.

MAM is represented on the MCESD through the Confederation of Malta Trade Unions. But Dr Fava said it was important for MAM officials to be present when health issues were being discussed. He said the association did not expect to be present on the MCESD all the time but would be happy if it had full membership when health-related issues were being discussed.

"We have the knowledge, the expertise and the hands-on experience," he said.

Dr Fava said in a statement that "unfortunately" MAM had not been consulted on the proposed reforms to date. When contacted he said the association representatives met the government with regard to the proposed closure of some health centres, announced in this year's budget. However, he said, it was imperative that the whole range of reforms was discussed with the association.

"It is indeed strange that the government has chosen to exclude from discussion those having the highest degree of expertise on the matter and who have a direct interest on the subject," Dr Fava said in the statement.

Also of concern, MAM said, were comments by World Medical Association president James Appleyard who said radical changes to a heath care system that was already performing well had an 80 per cent chance of resulting in a deterioration of the service.

"The health system in Malta is doing very well and the surveys have consistently shown high public satisfaction. Any radical changes that are contemplated must therefore be well-thought out and discussed extensively with the experts as well as with all stakeholders," he said.









 
 
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