The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

PN government would pay for all cancer treatment, provide palliative care at home - Grech

Shona Berger Monday, 13 September 2021, 20:19 Last update: about 7 days ago

A Nationalist government led by Bernard Grech would ensure that cancer treatment is paid by the state, even if done abroad, and would also work on providing patients with palliative care at home rather than in hospital, Opposition leader Bernard Grech said on Monday.

Fielding questions from party supporters in Mqabba during a Q&A session, Grech acknowledged the work carried out by foundations such as the Malta Community Chest Fund (MCCF), saying he appreciates their work for collecting and distributing funds to those in need.

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However, “should we be sending cancer patients, who are already suffering, to ask for money?”, Grech asked.

Consequently, he explained that instead of cancer patients going to MCCF, a Nationalist government would ensure that all kinds of treatment available are paid for by the state. These also include treatments given abroad which sometimes are also paid for by the MCCF.

During the Q&A session which primarily focused on the mental health sector, Grech also said that a Nationalist government would work on improving the salaries of health care workers, and it would see to it that adequate bonuses are also given.

The Nationalist Party will soon be announcing a number of measures with the aim of supporting cancer patients. In the coming months, the party will also be announcing more mental health related measures.

Asked on the Covid-19 measure which requires Maltese residents travelling back from red-countries to pay to quarantine in a hotel room, Grech noted that although one should follow a quarantine period, “it is unreasonable that people who have an alternative place to stay end up doing their quarantine in a hotel against a payment.”

He said it “does not make sense” to force people who have residences in Malta to quarantine in these hotels.

“Why should we continue adding more pressure on Maltese families? These are all unnecessary financial burdens,” Grech said.

He added that people like Rachel Umanah, who has Down Syndrome, should not be forced to quarantine in a hotel room if she has an alternative place to stay. Her family have expressed their concern about Rachel’s ability to handle an unfamiliar and closed space due to her condition.

Grech also said a PN government would overhaul the IVF treatment system, and ensure there was a specialist on the island at all times. He also pledged that a PN government would return the three privatised hospitals to the people.

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