€1.4 mil­lion in­vested in new an­i­mal hos­pi­tal re­plac­ing St Francis Cen­tre, all new equip­ment and theatres

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

The newly in­au­gu­rated an­i­mal hos­pi­tal at Ta’ Qali, that re­placed the Ċen­tru San Franġisk an­i­mal hos­pi­tal, has re­ceived in­vest­ment of €1.4 mil­lion and is now truly a “fully-fledged hos­pi­tal,” a spokesper­son for Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for An­i­mal Wel­fare said.

Asked to out­line the changes car­ried out when con­vert­ing from the old cen­tre, to this new one, a spokesper­son said:

“Fol­low­ing a change in op­er­a­tor, we now have a fully-fledged hos­pi­tal rather than a cen­tre which is what we had be­fore.

“All of the equip­ment is new, of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy and ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. In­fras­truc­tural works were also car­ried out to re­design the en­tire build­ing. In ad­di­tion to this, a new drainage sys­tem was in­stalled to re­place the faulty old sys­tem.

“Bad work­man­ship with the old sys­tem led to the drainage pour­ing out into the ad­ja­cent fields. New floor­ing was laid, with to­tal in­vest­ment in the vet­eri­nary hos­pi­tal reach­ing €1.4 mil­lion.

“There are now new op­er­at­ing theatres in­clud­ing those for soft tis­sue surg­eries. There are also prepa­ra­tion rooms to han­dle den­tistry and emer­gency cases and an in-house lab­o­ra­tory.

Ca­ter­ing for the lack of fa­cil­i­ties for those stu­dents who wish to learn about vet­eri­nar­ian prac­tices, the spokesper­son re­vealed that “a board room was cre­ated to or­gan­ise sem­i­nars and lec­tures for stu­dents and the gen­eral pub­lic”.

“There is also a quar­an­tine area, and wards specif­i­cally pro­vided for An­i­mal Wel­fare and pri­vate pa­tients separately. One may also find a vet­eri­nary phar­macy and a pet store. The hos­pi­tal was de­signed with the lat­est tech­nolo­gies in­clud­ing an X-ray ma­chine, ul­tra-sound ma­chine and the like. In fact now the hos­pi­tal is able to carry out cataracts surg­eries.

“We have up­loaded a video on Face­book where you can see for your­self the ad­vance­ments made by the new op­er­a­tor.”

The video may be found on the Face­book page of Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for An­i­mal Wel­fare Rod­er­ick Galdes.

The old cen­tre, set up by the for­mer govern­ment, had been closed for some months, with many peo­ple com­plain­ing that the costs of treat­ing their pets had been far too high. When in­au­gu­rat­ing the hos­pi­tal, Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat said that the govern­ment would en­sure that prices were kept to a rea­son­able level, al­le­vi­at­ing old fears by Malta’s pet own­ers.

Mr Galdes had said that pay­ment of ser­vices of­fered would still be re­quired for bring­ing in pets for treat­ment, how­ever stray an­i­mals would be treated for free and NGOs work­ing with an­i­mals would also re­ceive spe­cial dis­counted rates.

“Today, when we talk about an­i­mal wel­fare, it’s not just a mat­ter of tak­ing dogs for their an­nual check-ups. This hos­pi­tal will make it pos­si­ble for an­i­mals to un­dergo or­thopaedic in­ter­ven­tions, cataracts surgery and other surg­eries,” Mr Galdes had said.

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