COVID-19 might’ve ravaged the planet and severed most physical ties practically overnight, but Malta has managed to make the best out of the situation and arm itself with all the necessary tools to get through this together. And this national tech agency has been leading the frontline.
The Malta Information Technology Agency, or MITA for short, has been around for a while now, but its services took on a whole new lease of life with the pandemic’s arrival.
In the national health sector, MITA stepped up its efforts with a dedicated team working on myHealth, a platform where you can check out all the results and records that you’re listed on under Malta’s public healthcare system… including your COVID-19 swab test results.
Here, MITA is hoping to make the entire site even more efficient, with test results being available even quicker. But that’s just the tip of the technological iceberg.
Enhancing employees’ cyber security and amplifying the hospital’s connectivity, MITA‘s latest efforts are squarely aimed at connecting Malta at a time when we most need it.
Increasing all networks’ bandwidth for better connectivity throughout the national hospital and arming swabbing centres and new wards with improved Wi-Fi connections, MITA is leading the tech charge to a more connected Malta.
Since many government employees are now working from home, making them more prone to cyber attacks, MITA has also stepped in to make sure enhanced security is given to this workforce at this vital time.
Beyond that, developers within the Programme Management Department enacted a number of changes to the existing systems to account for all the new measures on taxes and wage supplements that have been rolling out as announced by the Prime Minister.
And while necessity may be the mother of invention, MITA are proving that sometimes, it can also be an inspiration for evolution.
Of course, we are living in a New Normal that has had the COVID-19 pandemic dominate every news headline… so most of MITA’s initiatives have helped arm the nation against that reality.
Along with the bolstering up of myHealth and the hospital’s added networking capabilities, MITA is also working on a telemedicine system where doctors can use Microsoft Teams to speak to their patients.
And while all of this is happening, Malta’s increasingly busy call centre is still active 24/7, with constant updates and amendments making sure the whole process is as efficient as possible.
In fact, MITA’s Service Call Centre has helped them handle about 3,000 phone calls since last March, most of which were related to helping users set up their home working environments. Urgent Primary Health Care requests, on the other hand, were channelled through a specifically-set-up emergency line.
The Security Operations Centre within MITA even extended its operational hours, covering weekends and public holidays, given the delicate time and rapid change of the Public Sector’s modus operandi. Special attention in all this is of course being dedicated to Mater Dei’s digital landscape, to make sure the hospital continues to safely operate and serve the general public in these trying times.
Beyond serving the nation and making sure the public sector operates as smoothly as possible in these challenging times, MITA has also made sure its own workforce is properly protected.
The agency’s Network Operations Centre immediately aligned its processes to have half of its staff working remotely, with a maximum of only two resources per shift having 24/7 onsite presence at MITA DC in St. Venera.
Prioritising the health and safety of its own employees while making sure the impact of the pandemic on its operations is as minimised as possible, MITA’s NOC continued to carry out its day-to-day operations smoothly, monitoring the availability of the government’s IT services… most importantly, of course, those related to health.
During these extraordinary times, it’s equally extraordinary measures that will help us get through all this.
Together we will make it through, and it turns out that a challenging time like this can actually unite us all. In the meantime, it’s thanks to an agency like MITA that the islands can end up being more connected, informed and protected than ever before.