Health: 10 takeaways from the Labour Party’s manifesto

We took the time to dissect and translate a few key proposals, 10 to be exact, from the Labour Party’s manifesto which concern the health sector- so that you don’t have to. 

1. A new outpatients department

After the plans and technicalities for the project have been concluded, a new Labour Government will see a new building annexed to Mater Dei hospital which will be dedicated to the Outpatients Department of the hospital. There will also be a new parking area to be used by workers, patients and visitors. 

2. A National Action Plan for Rare Diseases

A new Labour Government will create a national action plan for rare diseases, which will not only focus on diagnoses and care, but on a better quality of life for patients suffering from such diseases. 

3. Prioritising healthcare workers

Praising frontliners should not stop at clapping from our terraces, and this manifesto takes that into consideration. The manifesto affirms the importance of the healthcare sector and all its dedicated workers. It further maintained that the COVID-19 pandemic made the workers’ high degree of dedication clear. The manifesto promises to further improve working conditions through the renewal of collective agreements, during the upcoming legislature. 

4. Converting to Digital Health

A new administration will put forward a ten year strategy for a transformation to a digital health system. The aim of this is to ensure universal access through digital healthcare, all the while improving patient care and experience. 

5. Telemedicine will be incorporated 

Telemedicine was used more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. It gives one the opportunity to receive the healthcare and information they need on health tests and prescriptions, without the troubles of leaving their own home. A situation which benefits both the practitioner and the patient A new Labour Government will extend telemedicine further for patients to consult with their doctors from the comfort of their own home. The team of doctors offering telemedicine services will be expanded so that any consultations and follow-ups are done with ease. 

6. A Replenished National Sexual Health Strategy

Time and time again we have discussed the National Sexual Health Strategy, which is currently in place. This strategy, devised by a Nationalist Government, has often been described as draconian and rabid. The new mandated Government will publish a newly updated National Sexual Health Strategy which reflect’s today’s societal needs. It is to be said that sexual education in schools will be improved, aiming to focus more on methods of conraception, using contraceptives as a means  of reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), unplanned pregnancies and better family planning.  

7. Free contraception medication & emergency contraception

Contraceptive Pills and the emergency contraceptive pill (the Morning After Pill) will be given for free.  Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs), including hormonal IUDs , will also be offered for free to women who make use of the health services. 

8. A new Mental Health Hospital 

A new psychiatric care hospital will be opened, close to Mater Dei. This hospital will have 120 beds and a therapeutic garden to be enjoyed by patients. This will be coupled with an outpatient department, to ultimately prevent the need for long-term admissions, all the while ensuring that patients live an independent life, contributing to the community.  

9. Mount Carmel Hospital: A change in purpose

The manifesto specifically stipulates that Mount Carmel Hospital’s scope will be changed once and for all. It will instead provide specialised care for people with multiple mental health diagnoses,  addiction problems and other mental health conditions. Mount Carmel will be transformed into a modern facility which will provide better care for such patients. 

10. Free Medication for pensioners

This proposal acknowledges that while drastic improvements have been made, more can be done. All pensioners will be automatically eligible for free medication, listed in the Government’s Formulary List (list of medications). More medication will be added to the formulary in the coming years. 

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