Doctors warn of health system collapse; call for urgent measures

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) has insisted that urgent restrictive measures are necessary to avoid the collapse of the healthcare system. This follows an influx of COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU).

In a statement, the MAM remarked that 16 patients are currently in the ITU, and over 80 people admitted to hospital. It is expecting that at this very high daily number of cases, hospitalizations, intensive care admissions, deaths will continue to rise, with expected 3-5 new ITU admissions per day.

MAM

It added that this means that the point where the health services will not cope with the demand is getting dangerously close. “Soon most elective operations may have to be cancelled as staff will have to be redeployed. While the ministry claims to have 100 ventilators, the staff available can only cater for about a quarter of that number.”

Furthermore, the Association also said that there is a day’s waiting list for urgent swabbing, and 5-6 days for other patients. Regarding contact tracing, it insisted that a considerable backlog of several days has accumulated.

“The situation at the health services will soon hit a critical point, and further restrictive measures are necessary as soon as possible,” it concluded.