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Situation as St. Luke’s Hospital reaches very concerning state - 25/2/2005

The overcrowding problem at St. Luke’s hospital is now close to critical levels with very limited space for patients. The hospital has actually to run out of corridor space.

The authorities’ efforts to quickly shift a small minority of the 70 social cases which chronically block beds, and the taking over of surgical and gynaecological wards can only be described as “too little and too late” and just late patching up of a problem which has been there for years.

As doctors’ and other staff do their best to cope with such a situation, a large number of doctors have not been given their deserved appointments. Indeed another batch of 6 doctors, all with considerable experience has decided to leave for the UK, this week. The shortage of doctors coupled with the increased number of patients is certainly not helping to achieve optimal patient care.

It is simply illogical to freeze the appointments of doctors when there is such a severe medical manpower shortfall, just to save a few thousand liri, with the result that so many doctors, who have been given training are leaving the island. Patient safety is soon going to be put in serious risk.

Despite repeated promises over the last several months, these doctors have still not yet been appointed. MAM council last week has approved a number of directives in the event that need arises to resort to industrial action to persuade the health authorities to take simple and common sense decisions. Time is simply running out.

Dr Martin Balzan

General Secretary



 
 
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