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Appreciation: Prof. Angelo Psaila

Anthony De Bono writes:

Professor Angelo Psaila was a legend in the annals of Malta’s medical history and indeed in the international arena. His demeanour was extraordinary and unprecedented in academia, healthcare, sports and daily life.

We worked very closely during my tenure as private secretary to two ministers of health for a decade, and more in the years that followed. He was awarded the Ġieħ ir-Repubblika in 2013 for his outstanding unselfish work as a professor of medicine over nearly 40 years starting from the early 1970s, particularly in teaching the public via the media on awareness of illness and the value of prevention. The nomination for the award cites his popular television and radio programmes, which he did free of charge.

Following his motto ‘Awareness, Prevention, persuasion, patience and simplicity’, he used his charisma to transmit scientific facts according to the language of his audience, even the illiterate. For him it was a mission to make the public aware of how much good could be achieved in life by being healthier and living longer, the nomination letter says.

He was an educationalist of excellent repute. He taught, with great ability and enthusiasm, students of all health professions, sportsmen in different institutions and societies and thousands of patients under his care and their relatives on the nature and management of their illness.

He gave sterling service as a physician, educator and administrator to the Health Department and the University of Malta over three decades from 1970 to 1999. As a physician at St Luke’s Hospital in the fields of internal medicine, including childcare, Prof. Psaila was well known for his great skills in diagnosis and management both in emergencies and routine cases and his excellent bedside manners.

In the 1977-1987 period, as an acting head of department he was responsible for the setting up of, and the organisation of the new methods of management in the Malta health service. These included the Coronary Cardiac Unit, Intensive Therapy Unit, Renal Unit, open heart surgery and renal transplants. He was also a sportsman since his early childhood and he founded the St Luke’s Sports Association during this period. He was also a member of several health committees.

I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, notably Mrs Psaila and his daughters Roseanne and Angela.

May God welcome dear Angelo in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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