Health minister Godfrey Farrugia has set up an office inside of the emergency department at Mater Dei in order to be more in touch with happenings at the department.
Former health minister Joe Cassar expressed his discomfort at this fact, saying that it shows a lack of faith in the management at Mater Dei.
“I too used to have an office at Mater Dei, but mine was within the administrative wing, not within the clinical system. If we are paying management from taxpayers’ money, it should be managers who manage not ministers,” Dr Cassar said.
Dr Cassar said that there is very little space in the emergency department, speculating that Dr Farrugia must have commandeered somebody else’s office.
The former minister for health called Dr Farrugia’s move a return to “80s style politics, where politicians walked the wards and ran hospitals.”
“You either trust the management at Mater Dei, or you don’t. Back in the 80s the minister and chief medical officer used to walk up and down the corridors of St Luke’s. Everyone used to be intimidated by them. I was a medical student back then, and management was non-existent.”
Dr Farrugia claimed to have found a deficit of €63 million on taking over as health minister, but Dr Cassar said that his former ministry was audited on a yearly basis and that everything was done by the book.
“The government has not yet switched into government mode. They are still in opposition mode. Problems have to be faced. All they are doing at the moment is finding faults with what we used to do,” Dr Cassar explained.
Dr Cassar also denied Dr Farrugia’s claim that “1,000 referral forms had been intentionally been withheld.”
“Dr Farrugia evidently did not check about this. Had he checked with Mater Dei’s CEO, he would have known what this matter was all about. The CEO was tasked with looking at each and every referral, and whenever possible he tried to expedite the referral. It is not true that referral forms were intentionally held.”
Dr Cassar expressed his desire to remain positive, saying that the Maltese “have given their verdict, but at the moment Labour do not even seem confident enough to govern even with a majority of 35,000 plus votes.”
On Dr Farrugia’s declaration that outpatients’ clinics will be held at Mater Dei between 4pm and 8pm, Dr Cassar pointed out that this was due to an agreement signed between the previous government and the Medical Association of Malta.
“Give us something new please,” Dr Cassar remarked pointedly.