“We are all so grateful for the care and attention that Maltese patients receive” - Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca
“We are all so grateful for the care and attention that Maltese patients receive by various hospitals in London”.
This was said by the President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca during her annual official visit in London in the run up for Istrina.
The President yesterday visited two hospitals; Great Ormond Street Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. During these visits she did not only meet the patients and their families but also Maltese medical staff who work in these specialised hospitals.
Great Ormond Hospital
More than 50 Maltese children this year received treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. This hospital in London specializes in paediatric care such as cardiorespiratory problems and gastrointestinal illnesses. For more than 40 years, since the bilateral agreement between the Maltese government and the hospital Maltese one was signed, children receive specialised treatment that could not be given in our hospitals.
The President was welcomed by a nine year old Maltese girl, Keona Vella, who is receiving treatment in this hospital. “It is always a pleasure to come to this hospital because a lot of Maltese children have been treated with a lot of love and attention. Both the children and their parents have only words of praise to the professional way they are treated and for this we are very grateful,” the President said.
Juliette Greenwood, the Chief Nurse at Great Ormond, said that this hospital does not only help Maltese children but also has Maltese doctors that work there. She said that the hospital does not only give good health care but also makes sure that the environment that these children are surrounded with makes them feel good and that they do not look at the building as just a hospital.
At the end of this visit the President gave a donation to the hospital explaining that the shareholders of this donation are the Maltese and Gozitan people that help the Malta Community Chest fund all year round.
The Malta Independent also spoke to a Maltese Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon, Christian Aquilina. Mr Aquilina has been practicing as a child surgeon for the past four years. Mr Aquilina said that it is a great privilege that as a Maltese neurosurgeon is able to take care of Maltese boys and girls and at the same time give back something to our own country and look after these children.
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
The President of Malta also visited the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. This year around 40 Maltese patients came to London to receive treatment here. This hospital, which was the first one in the world, specialises in complications related to the nervous system which affect the brain and the spine. Here the President also meet with the Maltese Consultant Ludvic Zrinzo who has been studying this field for 17 years and working as a surgeon in this hospital for a number of years.
The President thanked Mr Zrinzo because he is now seeing and operating Maltese patients in Malta and that means the patients do not need to leave their home and family and at the same receive the right treatment.
Here the President also gave a donation from the Malta Community Chest Fund. She said that these hospitals are also research hospitals and these donations will help to find cures which will also help the Maltese people.
Mr Zrinzo told this newsroom that, “more and more medical equipment is being bought by the Maltese hospital and this gives the patient the opportunity to be treated in Malta rather than coming to London”.
He said that as a result that Mater Dei is investing in more equipment he is traveling to Malta more often so as to be able to operate Maltese patients in Malta. He said that thanks for today’s technology major operations in the brain can be done with minor invasive surgery.
Apart from Mr Zrinzo, at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery there is another Maltese doctor, Shawn Agius. Mr Agius who is Gozitan is being trained by Mr Zrinzo to become a neurosurgeon. He has been working as a doctor for seven years and his plan is to become a consultant neurologist in Malta.