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Title: The journey of Malta's public healthcare service during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Cuschieri, Sarah
Falzon, Celia
Janulova, Lina
Agius, Stephen
Busuttil, Walter
Psaila, Noel
Farrugia, Karl
Debono, Joseph
Grech, Victor E.
Keywords: Public health -- Malta
Public health administration -- Malta
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- -- Malta
National health services -- Malta
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- -- Influence
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: University of Malta. Medical School
Citation: Cuschieri, S., Falzon, C., Janulova, L., Agius, S., Busuttil, W., Psaila, N., ... Grech, V. (2022). The journey of Malta's public healthcare service during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Malta Medical Journal, 34(1), 35-42.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: COVID-19 was a global shock, causing challenges to many countries’ healthcare services. This paper provides a summary of Malta’s healthcare system journey during the Covid-19 pandemic with its initial preparedness for COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of COVID-19 on the service during the first 12 months of the pandemic.
METHODS: A literature search was conducted using Google and reviewing Maltese online newspapers. A comprehensive summary of internal operations conducted at Mater Dei Hospital, the country’s only acute general hospital, was provided by the Chief Operating Officer.
RESULTS: Several infrastructural changes including the increase in bed capacity and ITU areas were instituted in preparation for the pandemic. The health system showed resilience during the first wave. However, the situation was more precarious during the second wave. The end of December 2020 saw the start of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout, with over 30 health system hubs offering this service across the islands. Simultaneously health professional’s burnout is on the rise as resources and workforce are overstretched.
CONCLUSION: The collaborative effort between the guidance provided by the Public Health Authorities and the hospital’s multi-disciplinary team have been pinnacle during the pandemic. However, the future of the healthcare system is heavily dependent on the population’s behaviour, timely measures, the vaccination rollout and the type of immunity acquired through vaccination or infection.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 34, Issue 1

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