MAM sounds warning on overdevelopment, calls for more investment in health infrastructure

The Medical Association of Malta welcomes the increased investment in electric distribution network but says that rampant development has put great pressure on health services • Six makeshift wards intended for major incidents are being used daily

The Medical Association of Malta called for more investment in the health infrastructure and sounded a warning on the rise in real estate development.

In a statement on Saturday, the MAM said that it has mixed feelings after the MCESD meeting on Friday, during which the government announced that it will be setting up a climate change authority and that it will be doubling its investment in Malta’s electrical distribution network.

MAM said it appreciates that the government accepted responsibility for the unprecedented wave of power cuts, and that it supports the rapid investment in the infrastructure of electricity distribution.

The yearly investment of €15 million will be doubled to €30 million, to reflect the urgent needs brought about by the acceleration of climate change.

“On the other hand, the Government must review and alter its approach towards the enormous increase in real estate development. All recognize that this development not only impacts the environment but is also resulting in the ‘uglification’ of Malta,” MAM said.

It added that despite the rise in property supply, the prices are still well out of reach of most citizens.

“The rampant development has led to push the current inadequate power distribution network into collapse during the heat wave. This has also resulted in a greatly increased demand for health services.”

The Medical Association said it is also disappointed that there seems to be no intention of investing in the health infrastructure, despite the “dramatic increase” in the size of the population.

It stated that Mater Dei Hospital is utilising all six makeshift wards daily even though they were only intended for use during major incidents.

“The failure of Vitals and Steward to deliver what was contractually promised would have rendered value to the payment of 400 million euros,” MAM noted.

It said that any surge in daily cases from any cause, be it due to the climate or any physical incidents, can only be handled by temporarily suspending elective services such as operations and outpatient appointments.

“The People of Malta and Gozo deserve better and need urgent and extensive investment in hospital infrastructure,” MAM said.