The Malta Independent 16 July 2020, Thursday

Non-COVID patients

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 1 June 2020, 07:20 Last update: about 2 months ago

Now that it is apparent that the public health authorities have registered much progress in their war against Covid 19, it is making sense for them to devote more resources to the benefit of patients who have fallen back in their health care because the priority was correctly being given to containing the pandemic.

This too is going to be a tough job but I do not doubt that given the administrative resilience which has been shown up to now, it too will be overcome. Other countries which are passing through the same experience as we, are in the same situation. It raises managerial and ethical problems that are as difficult as were the Covid ones.

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How shall it be established who should be treated first? What illnesses are to be prioritized? What risks of new Covid infections will be incurred when more vulnerable patients reach the hospital? How greater will the pressures become on the medical staff of the various health departments?

Health services have carried up to now huge responsibilities. They did so successfully. They are well placed to maintain this success for the future.  

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CONDITIONS

During the discussions that proceeded in the EU these past weeks about how the Union will be giving support to anti-Covid programmes and to the required efforts towards economic recovery, many inputs dealt with the conditions that should be attached to the financial aid earmarked for allocation.

Among which:

--with assistance given there should (or should not be) obligations that bind countries receiving it to carry out strict “reforms” in the way they manage their affairs;

--assistance provided should respect and help to promote aims set by the EU, especially in the environmental area;

--aid should be extended only to companies registered in the EU which pay taxes due on their profits and are not stashing profits in some tax paradise to avoid paying their dues;

--aid should not serve, with Covid as an excuse, to give financial oxygen to companies which were already in bad shape before the pandemic started.

How many of these conditions will be applied? How many will be actually implemented?

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TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS  

Since measures have been in force to contain the corona virus – which led to less people and less traffic on our roads – it seems as if fatal traffic accidents have increased. Or is this just a wrong impression?

It seems as if given the empty spaces that some motorists discovered on certain roads, they believed it hardly made sense to fully observe the rules by which traffic is regulated... and they pressed for more speed. True, many places were quite empty and have stayed like that. Still, in any open road the likelihood of meeting some other driver remains less than negligible.

There is the possibility of course that what looks like a spike in the incidence of accidents has no statistical significance. Even so, it makes sense to investigate why on our roads, there still have occurred traffic accident deaths when supposedly, given the circumstaces we find ourselves in, there should have been none.

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