Investing in local talent

A recent news item on the management structure of Vitals Global Healthcare (November 26) makes depressing reading.

Malta has always enjoyed a high standard of medicine in spite of relative underfunding of the health service. Yet, instead of allocating more funds to health, a sector which should receive the highest priority, what have we done? We have bypassed our local medical expertise and entered into an obscure financial deal with a commercial company and handed  control of three hospitals over to them, all the while keeping our own medical and healthcare professions  in the dark.

Now, we are informed, the commercial enterprise will be run by a team of managers from overseas who, we are led to believe, have glowing credentials.

Not only does such exalted praise of the management team fail to convince, awarding outsiders contracts to do work weourselves could do is humiliating and an insult to the skill and devotion of our caring professions. We are regressing to our old colonial inferiority complex and treating our own countrymen as backward local natives again.

To make matters worse, ‘commercially sensitive’ parts of the contract continue to be kept under covers from those most affected by this. This commercial company has now been supposedly in charge at three of our hospitals for the past five months at a great price to taxpayers with, so far, little to show for it.

Surely the government should have invested in local talent instead of  reducing  our medical profession to  subordinate roles while awarding huge sumsto a foreign company to do what we could have done competently ourselves.

Our standard of medicine has always been very near to ‘world class’. Our health service could have long ago been truly world class if sufficient funding had been allocated to provide “more beds, services, and programmes to the public” in the first place. Now we are rewarding somebody else handsomely to do what we ourselves could have done competently.


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