COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken its toll on Malta’s health services. Whilst some practices have had to temporarily stop, others have had to adapt to the current health regulations in place.
The palliative care ward might not have been particularly talked about throughout the pandemic, but the changes it has had to undergo are particularly concerning for both patients and relatives alike.
Lovin Malta spoke to Lara*, a Maltese woman whose father is dying of cancer. This is the harrowing truth her and her family are having to experience.
“My dad’s still at home at the moment, but we’re thinking of taking him to Mater Dei so that he can receive palliative care,” Lara said.
“This morning, I talked to a doctor, and she said that at the moment, when a patient is nearing the end of their life, only two persons are allowed to visit them.”
Upon calling Mater Dei’s palliative ward, it was confirmed that only one or two visitors are allowed at one time – a decision which the doctor is entitled to make.
Witnessing your father pass away is a hard enough experience – however Lara is at a point where she and her brother have to choose which one of them will accompany their father during his last moments on earth.
“I don’t know what difference it would make to have another visitor,” Lara continued.
“I asked if we could increase the limit to three people – so that myself, my brother, and my mother could be present at one time, we are immediate family after all.”
“There’s zero empathy in this regard.”
Lara went on to explain that currently, one person is allowed to be constantly around the patients, whilst one additional visitor can stay for 12 hours at a time.