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‘If He Dies, We Won’t Know’: Maltese Families Left In The Dark On When They Can Visit Loved Ones In Hospital

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A family who hasn’t been able to see their bedridden father for over two months is left wondering when and whether they’ll ever be able to visit him in Mater Dei. 

“My father has been in hospital since February. The doctors told us that he only has a few months left and we were visiting him everyday before they closed it for visitors,” the daughter of a Mater Dei patient told Lovin Malta.

The hospital closed its doors to visitors as part of a series of measures put in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many non-essential retail stores (including bars, gyms and restaurants) have now opened, families are still unable to visit their loved ones in hospital.

“We tried to call the health department’s customer care, but they don’t have an answer on when we will be allowed to visit,” she said.

“We also sent messages to Parliament but no one is helping.”

For this family, the situation couldn’t be much worse. Not only is their father bedridden, but he’s unable to speak which means they’ve had zero communication with him over the COVID-19 period.

My mother was allowed to see him for 10 minutes twice, on special permission. We call every day and they tell us he’s stable, but they can’t give us more info over the telephone. If he dies we won’t know; we used to stay there all day.”

Malta might have “won the war” against COVID-19 but some families are still paying the price of not being able to visit their loved ones in hospital.

“Everything else is open – even elderly homes have video calls, but Mater Dei has nothing.”

And it’s not just patients at Mater Dei that are suffering because of all of this…

“It’s very difficult, it’s mentally a breakdown. We have to stay on the words of the nurses who say he is in a stable condition, but still we can’t see or talk to him,” the daughter said. 

“All we’re asking is for 10 minutes every day. It would be enough for us to just see him.”

While most visits aren’t allowed, partners are now allowed to visit their newborns in hospital as part of Malta’s new mitigation measures.

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