The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Government launches geriatric care centre at SVPR aimed at reducing pressure on general hospital

Thursday, 13 January 2022, 17:17 Last update: about 10 days ago

Health Minister Chris Fearne together with Minister for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing Michael Farrugia announced the launch of a new geriatric care centre at St Vincent de Paul Residence, with the intention of reducing pressure on Mater Dei Hospital.

During a press conference on Thursday, Minister Farrugia said that this centre forms part of a substantial €9 million investment made in the Rużar Briffa complex.

The specialised and targeted services that the hospital will be providing is not only for the benefit of St Vincent de Pauls’ residents but also for the elderly in all homes across Malta. Eventually, this will also be accessible to elderly in the community. This is being done in collaboration with specialists at Mater Dei Hospital.

The opening of the new geriatric care centre will purposefully be for those elderly people who do not require intensive care at Mater Dei Hospital but can easily seek care from the St Vincent de Paul care centre.

Minister Farrugia said that this investment is part of a series of ongoing and planned projects to transform St Vincent de Paul “from a nursing home to a centre of excellence.”

He noted, among other things, the recent projects developed, including the Rużar Briffa project, the Dar Narċis project, the development of a therapeutic swimming pool and gymnasium as well as the development of the digital x-ray department and the renovation of hallways.

The centre consists of 13 consultation clinics from which, the multidisciplinary teams of professionals from St Vincent de Paul and Mater Dei Hospital, will be providing specialised and integrated care to patients. All of these services will be offered under the same roof.

The clinics are specialised in ENT, physiotherapy, ophthalmology, vascular and dermatology, among others.

The centre will also have a total of 36 bed wards which offer intermediate care to those elderly patients who temporarily need to spend a few days under observation, Farrugia said.

He added that it will also serve to reduce emergency visits and hospital admissions as well as serve as an out-patient for the elderly still living in the community. The centre will also serve as a pre-assessment clinic for people applying for long-term care.

Deputy and Health Minister Fearne said that the government’s policy when it comes to Malta’s health care is to widen the areas of possible care for the public as much as possible by expanding and developing other centres across Malta, rather than rely entirely on Mater Dei Hospital.

“This will reduce the pressure on the general hospital and, ultimately, help the elderly people return back to the community,” Fearne said.

The care centre will introduce an electronic patient record so that medical staff within St Vincent de Paul will be able to communicate with other professionals working in other service centres.

The care centre will also offer a variety of services, showing that it is no longer necessary to solely rely on the general hospital. Consequently, Mater Dei Hospital will be given the opportunity to focus on more serious matters and provide a better overall service to patients, he said.

“We are using all the resources that the country has as much as possible,” Fearne said.



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