Photo: Miguela Xuereb

The Nationalist Party has launched a series of weekly press conferences on various aspects of Gozitan issues. Health problems on the island are a top priority. It is a holistic approach as it deals with the now recurring problem of having the only government hospital in Gozo run by a private company and then with the health problems in the communities.

PN spokesman Chris Said insisted that a government led by his party will repeal the contract between Vitals and the government, which the Auditor General revealed in July 2020 was ultimately a flawed contract that was approved and executed behind closed doors . Hardly anything happened that was promised and paid for in advance. Stewards haven’t even started planning the construction of the promised 400-bed hospital. Basically Vitals built a fancy foyer for their brochures only at the expense of the real everyday items that were left unattended.

A new PN government will focus on building a new hospital with enough beds to create a niche for medical tourism that will also attract medical professionals to the island. Nationalist candidate Josephine Xuereb announced that in the first six months of government an MRI service, much needed in Gozo, would be provided and new forms of chemotherapy introduced to reduce the need to send cancer patients to Mater Dei what it causes even more hardship. A helipad on the roof of the new hospital will be made available to avoid wasting valuable time transporting seriously ill patients to Malta. We all remember the fanfare at the inauguration of a new helicopter a few years ago, but soon even the helipad disappeared.

Community Health sees the opening of five retirement homes in Gozo near their own communities to avoid the need for older people to go to overcrowded facilities when they lose their identity and dignity. Similar projects for people with dementia and mental illness are being planned. Spokesman Kevin Cutajar pointed out that the state in Gozo has no facilities for people with disabilities.

It was stressed that these new projects will bring all workers currently employed by a foreign company back into the civil service and create new quality jobs on the island.

This holistic approach will lead to a leap in the quality of health care in Gozo, fill the gaps in the current system and end the uncertainty caused by the lack of government medical facilities on the island.

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