Letter to Maltese doctors from Barts hints at privatisation of medical services – MMSA kept ‘completely in the dark’ over new developments

In a letter sent recently by Barts London School of Medicine and Dentistry to all the doctors currently on the Medical Council Register in Malta, it was indicated that the privatisation of Malta’s healthcare services is imminent. The letter was sent to doctors to invite them to form part of the board of Barts Medical School which is shortly to set up in Gozo.

The letter specifically says that doctors who serve on the board will not be remunerated but will provide their services in an advisory capacity. The letter sent by Professor Anthony Warrens acknowledges that substantial changes in the way healthcare is delivered will take place over the next few years.

In this letter that was seen by Malta Winds, Prof Warrens specifically states that some of the healthcare services that have until now been provided by the state will be provided by the private sector.

“We recognised that we are inviting you to become involved during what is a period of change in the delivery of healthcare in Malta: there are significant plans to expand the sector and some of what has traditionally been delivered entirely from the public sector will now also be delivered from the private sector.

“We appreciate, as with any new system, it will take time for organisations to adapt to the new partnership during which it may be an unsettling and demanding period. We at Barts are committed to playing our part to ease the transition.”

Speaking to Malta Winds, the University of Malta Medical Students Association representative Alexander Moses Clayman said that the medical students (as well as the general public) have been completely kept in the dark with regard to these new developments. He also pointed out that these new students will have to use Mater Dei Hospital for their medical training as that is the only hospital which has all the resources necessary.

“Although it has been mentioned that Barts are to open a medical school in Gozo, this will not be the case as all the specialised equipment and facilities are at Mater Dei. To add insult to injury, we will have to share the facilities with these students who will supposedly number around 300 and who will net the Barts University around EUR 10,000,000 a year. What’s more, if Maltese doctors take up the offer of lecturing with Barts, they will not be paid by the school but by the Maltese government”, Clayman said.

So far, the agreement between the Maltese government and Barts Medical School has not been made public and neither has an agreement made between the Medical Association of Malta and the University of Malta on this issue.