Centralised referral system being devised by NGOs – Social Accommodation Ministry

Miguela Xuereb

Non-governmental organisations are devising a centralised referral system aimed at having one point of contact, the Ministry of Social Accommodation said to Newsbook.com.mt.

The initiative will see an integrated service between health, housing and service provision to address the new reality brought by the coronavirus outbreak.

In a recently published coronavirus bulletin, the government has issued a call for non-governmental organisations to provide a new service which will be made available the government. The new service includes providing transport to persons who do not have a car and who have a swab test appointment.

The government had said that the research showed that vulnerable people such as homeless or substance-dependent individuals were not finding a location were to undergo quarantine. The government said that it felt the need to create a specific procedure for vulnerable individuals.

Asked for further information, the Ministry of Social Accommodation said that the initiative fell under its responsibility. A spokesperson for the ministry explained that it would be coordinating the inter-ministerial initiative.

The spokesperson said that NGOs were devising a centralised referral system so that there is one point of contact when asked who will be providing the services. The initiative is about shared responsibilities and stewardship, where each part will offer the required support and service in order to meet the needs of vulnerable groups, the spokesperson further explained. The initiative will see different stakeholders coming together to share resources and expertise and will place housing at the centre of the initiative.

The services include a centralised referral system, the creation of a separate process for swabbing apart from the 111 helpline, and and operational support for those who cannot procure their own transport due to lack of means or support.

The spokesperson said that the Ministry had other initiatives being devised in order to address the changing realities brought about the coronavirus outbreak in Malta.

On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that no new cases were registered over the last 24 hours. Fearne hinted that some restrictions would be eased off following a thorough evaluation of the situation.

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