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23 April 2014

Health Minister hits out at Opposition in parliament

 - Friday, 27 April 2012, 00:00 , by Francesca Vella

The debate on the Budget Measures Implementation Bill continued in parliament on Wednesday evening, with Nationalist MPs praising the government’s vision and the way government has been investing heavily in various sectors.

Health Minister Joe Cassar hit out at the Opposition, saying that it has been trying to deceive people by insisting that the government reduced its budget. In reality, however, there was a significant increase in the budget allocation, especially in the health sector, said Dr Cassar.

He spoke about improvements made in a number of health centres and about the importance of the campaigns such as the breastfeeding campaign, as well as the cancer and obesity strategies.

While saying that the government has failed in the primary care sector, the Opposition hasn’t put forward any proposals, said the minister, adding that thousands of services are offered in health centres, clinics and by health centre doctors who visit patients in their homes.

The Opposition is afraid of telling the truth about developments in the health sector, he said. It hasn’t got the courage to talk about the increase in the number of free medicines and the new additions to the list of conditions that entitle patients to free medicines.

The PN-led government has a vision, he said, talking about other countries having taken drastic measures and limiting their expenditure in the health sector. The Maltese government continued investing, because health is among its priorities, he said.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary Clyde Puli also said the government wasn’t forced to implement austerity measures. This demonstrates that the government has a long-term vision, said Mr Puli, going on to talk about investment in the sectors of aviation, IT and education.

The government also helped investors with schemes and incentives to increase the number of job opportunities, and this left positive results in the tourism sector, he said.

Nationalist MP Francis Zammit Dimech and Labour MP Silvio Parnis also took part in Wednesday evening’s parliamentary debate.

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