MAM alarmed as a large number of operations remain postponed.
MAM alarmed as a large number of operations remain postponed. Overcrowding and a shortage of anaesthetists need to be solved
The Medical Association of Malta is calling on the health authorities to take all the necessary
measures to be able to provide a full service to the Maltese people. It deplores a situation where
many services are being curtailed for problems which could have been anticipated and resolved.
In the first three months of this year a considerable number of surgical operations have had to be
postponed to make space for the increased load in the Department of Medicine and overcrowding
in the Medical Wards.
The health division is now facing a new problem, not only are large numbers of Maltese doctors
leaving the island, but a number of foreign anaesthetists employed in Malta is following suit, and
seeking greener pastures in the EU. As a consequence a substantial number of operation lists
are being cancelled until new staff is recruited. However MAM is reliably informed that there are
more vacancies than applicants.
Although MAM agrees there was no option but to cancel these operations, there should have
been enough planning to avoid such a situation. Geriatric services should be adequate for the
needs of the country. While recognizing that there are genuine social cases, every endeavor
should be made by the government and family members so that elderly persons are cared for in
the community as much as possible.
Furthermore the government needs to recognize that the medical manpower shortage is getting
worse by the day. There is a very serious brain drain going on, as more and more doctors
become disillusioned by unsatisfactory conditions of work
Unless the necessary measures are taken to ensure that the best brains are kept on the island
the situation will only get worse. The health division should not try to deny the existence of the
problem, as it has done in the recent past, but rather come up with the necessary solutions.
Failing this the Maltese Health service and the Maltese citizen will be the greatest loser.
Dr Martin Balzan