The Malta Independent 29 August 2016, Monday

Opposition left in ‘total darkness’ about plans for health sector, expresses concerns

Mathias Mallia Monday, 4 January 2016, 17:17 Last update: about 9 months ago

Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil expressed concern about the government's plans to privatize hospitals and the new Barts School of Medicine, particularly since the opposition has been kept in 'total darkness' about the plans. Dr Busuttil's main concern about privatization was especially with regards to Gozitan residents since, if the hospitals were all privatized, Gozitans will not have a choice as to whether to go to a private or public hospital thus removing the opportunity for equal services.

Dr Busuttil's other concern was with the new Barts School of Medicine saying that the opposition has no idea how the current medical students and medical school will be affected. In both cases, the opposition was never consulted and, thus, there are many unanswered questions from the government's side. The leader of the opposition added that these decisions for the Health Sector cannot be taken solely by the government as they will not only be valid for the remainder of the PL's term in government. As an aspiring government, the PN needs to know about any changes made.

On the other end, Mr Gordon Caruana Dingli, the President of the MAM made it very clear that they had no opinion on whether or not hospitals should be privatized saying that they would rather 'leave that to the politicians' starting their speech with the idea that their main concern is the quality of medical service provided, rather than the number of operations performed. They made it very clear that all negotiations and discussions with the government are about safeguarding the quality of the medical service everyone receives. 

Mr Caruana Dingli also spoke of the MAM having organised a conference during CHOGM about the quality of life. It was said that it not only a doctor who keeps people alive and healthy, but many other social aspects, such as relationsips and work. 

In reaction, Dr Simon Busuttil, spoke about a new stand-alone law being proposed by the opposition, which is now in its third reading in parliament, which directly concerns obesity. He is certain that there will be a unanimous agreement on the law as it is the first of its kind and it directly concerns healthy lifestyles which is close at heart to all members of parliament. 

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