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COVID-19: Doctors Fear Poor Planning Will Lead To Decimation Of Malta’s Healthcare Centre Workers Battling On The Frontline

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Doctors within Malta’s Health Centres are growing more and more concerned over the lack of planning and precautions being taken after a comprehensive plan to avoid “decimation of the frontline workforce” seemingly went ignored by authorities.

Sources who spoke to Lovin Malta explained how doctors from the Paola, Kirkop and Cospicua health centres have been battling with health authorities to ensure much-needed changes are introduced.

“The situation is changing fast, and the reaction to it is too slow. We are being left in the dark of what these plans are, fuelling anxiety, fear and rumours within the health care professionals.”

“While the health authorities are assuring the nation that all preparations are in place, we the health care professionals on the front line are witnessing and living a very different reality,” sources said. 

Sources explained that doctors and other medical professionals in healthcare centres are currently facing inadequate triaging of suspected patients, a shortage of personal protective equipment, and the persistent use of outdated protocols.

“We have constant conflicts with Public Health regarding swabbing criteria, which as documented has already failed to identify some cases already flagged earlier on by GPs,” sources said.

A comprehensive analysis with clear proposals has seemingly been ignored. At the bare minimum, the doctors are demanding protective clothing for staff in the centres, while ordering strait risk assessment of patients to safely manage cases.

“Lack of a proper comprehensive plan like the one we are proposing will inevitably result in the decimation of the frontline workforce, an outcome that all stakeholders wish to avoid.”

“This could make the Department and its management medicolegally vulnerable to claims from its own employees. If no guidance is received from management’s end by the said deadline, confusion will continue to reign, and we will have to resort to ad hoc decisions on the ground.”

The current situation and current limitations will only lead to staff exhaustion, and the workforce is going to be decimated in no time. It cannot continue in the haphazard, disorganised way it is in now,” they said.

Malta has so far registered 64 coronavirus patients, out of which two have officially recovered. However, an unspecified number of patients have already been sent home, where they will self-quarantine for two weeks before they will be tested again for the virus.

A 61-year-old patient has developed complications related to bilateral pneumonia, although he is not in a critical state.

If you believe you are suffering from the coronavirus, follow the following guidelines:

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.

Do not go to Mater Dei, the emergency department, health centres, private clinics, or pharmacies. Stay home and call the public health authority’s helpline 111.

If you are returning from any country, do not break self-quarantine rules or you will be subject to a 3000 euro fine.

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