An inquiry ordered by Minister for Health Chris Fearne to investigate a case in which a patient died because the transfer from Gozo General Hospital to Mater Dei Hospital took too long, did not find that there was a deficiency in the helicopter service.
Partit Nazzjonalista spokesperson for Gozo Affairs Chris Said said that the inquiry is “farce”.
In a Facebook post, Said, who was first to say that the helicopter was not working, claimed that his version of the situation was not heard during the inquiry.
A source in the Gozo General Hospital told Newsbook.com.mt that the helicopter was flown without a co-pilot, putting the lives of the patient, pilot, doctor and the nurse accompanying the patient at risk.
In a press release, the government said that the independent board, led by Professor Joe Cacciattolo, did not find a deficency in the hospital’s service.
The press release also contained part of the board’s conclusion, which stated that standard procedures were adopted according to protocol.
“The procedures followed were in line with established normal practice and protocols. No difficulties were encountered during the transfer of the patient from GGH to MDH. The patient was only transferred to MDH once the attending physician considered that it was safe to do so. The air ambulance helicopter was available when a decision was taken that the patient needed transfer to MDH.”
The press release also included another part of the inquiry’s conclusions, this time about the transfer by sea. The board discovered that there is no formalised agreement between the Gozo General Hospital and the Gozo Channel company. The board recommended that the agreement be formalised.