The ambulance service from the Paola Health Centre was re-introduced on the 17 November after not being available for a number of years. However, it turns out that it is not being offered as an emergency service as was intended, and is instead a service provided to outpatients due to not having an available nurse with the ambulance.
The Malta Independent spoke to Mr Colin Galea, the General Secretary for the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, about the issue and he told us that the reason for not having a fully functioning emergency service in Paola yet was due to the fact that there just aren’t enough nurses.
In fact, there Mr Galea informed us that he attended a meeting this week to address the very issue of being so short-staffed in terms of nurses. What is trying to be done about the Paola Health Centre is to have it operating like the Mosta Policlinic, where an ambulance service will be provided between 7am and 8pm to reduce the workload on Mater Dei.
This newsroom sent questions to the health ministry and, in a partial reply, a spokesperson said: “Ambulance calls are classified in colour codes according to patient’s needs. The Paola Ambulance services Blue code calls which require the presence of a trained Emergency Ambulance Responder. The Health department is assessing the first few months of this service and will be looking at ways to improve and extend it in the coming months. It bears pointing out that the ambulance service from Paola Health Centre was reintroduced recently after it had been abruptly stopped by the previous administration some years back.”