The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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TMID Editorial: The Medical School’s future

Wednesday, 27 September 2023, 12:23 Last update: about 3 months ago

It was supposed to be ready at the end of last year.

Nine months down the line, the Medical School is still in shell form and there is no clear indication as to when the project will continue – if it will.

In the meantime, another academic year is about to start at the University of Malta, and students who have enrolled in medical courses do not have their own premises.


In an article published by The Malta Independent on Sunday, the two associations which represent medical students both expressed their discontent at the prevailing situation. Student life has been impacted drastically, one association charged. The educational experience for students following medical courses will not be up to standard, the other said.

When this media house contacted the Health Ministry for details, we were referred to the Education Ministry for comment. But questions that were sent to this ministry have not been replied to. There was no reaction to the story published, either.

The government is always at the forefront when it comes to boasting about things it does. But when we ask questions about why some other projects are delayed, or why they have not been completed, and what is keeping them from being finished, we are met with silence. It’s as if by not giving us answers the problem will go away.

But the problem won’t go away, and it is a pity that medical students will be deprived of their own part of the campus. Let it be recalled that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the space they had been given at Mater Dei was taken away from them to make way for makeshift wards. But although the Covid-19 crisis is over, this space has been retained as wards, a string hint that the hospital is becoming too small for Malta’s growing population.

Let us also remember that these students are set to become the doctors and surgeons of tomorrow, much needed human resources if Malta is to keep up the standards of medical care it has been known to offer. As the two associations pointed out, better student education will lead to better healthcare professionals. The school, any type of education for that matter, is an investment in the future.

Yet the government has seemingly not found the money for the medical school.

It has had the cash to pay up €400 million for the running of three public hospitals by the private sector – a deal which has since been rescinded by the courts, with the government still to decide whether to try to recoup the money, or part of it – but disputes over its funding have meant that the school is yet to be finished.

When speaking at the announcement of the school that was to be built, Health Minister Chris Fearne had boasted that Malta will have one of the best facilities in Europe, once it is completed.

The question is: will the school be completed? And, if yes, when?

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