692 Mal­tese pa­tients sent to UK this year for spe­cialised med­i­cal treat­ments

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel At­tard in London

692 Mal­tese pa­tients this year were re­ferred by lo­cal pro­fes­sion­als to go to var­i­ous spe­cialised renowned English hos­pi­tals to re­ceive med­i­cal treat­ment. The Malta In­de­pen­dent has learnt that these 692 Mal­tese pa­tients vary from new cases to fol­low up ap­point­ments with their doc­tors.

Dur­ing her of­fi­cial visit in London Pres­i­dent Coleiro Preca, vis­ited two can­cer care spe­cialised hos­pi­tals: the Royal Mars­den Hos­pi­tal in Chelsea and the Univer­sity Col­lege Hos­pi­tal.

At the Royal Mars­den this year six Mal­tese women were treated for cer­vi­cal can­cer and nine other for dif­fer­ent types of can­cer. Dr Alexan­dra Tay­lor, a con­sul­tant in Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy who spe­cialises in gy­nae­co­log­i­cal can­cer and her team have been for a num­ber of years treat­ing Mal­tese women who need brachyther­apy. This is a type of ther­apy were ra­dioac­tive ma­te­rial is di­rectly given into the ef­fec­tive area.

Dr Tay­lor said that the treat­ment is pain­less, has min­i­mal side ef­fects and the suc­cess rate is that of 70% which is very good. She added that the fe­male pa­tient will only spend a to­tal of two days in hos­pi­tal and can go back home and will be fol­lowed up by the Mal­tese gy­nae­col­o­gists.

In this hos­pi­tal Mal­tese pa­tients are also sent for other types of can­cer care in var­i­ous parts of the body. The hos­pi­tal showed the Pres­i­dent a brand new ma­chine called Lin­ear Ac­cel­er­a­tor, which gives ef­fec­tive ra­dio­ther­apy in lesser time. The max­i­mum time a pa­tient stays on this ma­chine is that of two min­utes. The cost of this piece of ma­chin­ery is £1.8 mil­lion.

The Univer­sity Col­lege Hos­pi­tal spe­cialises in urol­ogy problems, such as prostate and blad­der can­cer and other ill­nesses re­lated to the lower part of the body. This year around 40 Mal­tese pa­tients re­ceived treat­ment for prostate can­cer and at the mo­ment a Mal­tese male pa­tient is there and was vis­ited by the Pres­i­dent. She was shown a new piece of equip­ment called Da Vinci Ro­bot. This ro­bot that costs £1.7mil­lion, helps the sur­geon to study the in­side of a body in a non­in­tru­sive way. This will help the pa­tient lose less blood and re­cover faster.

At the mo­ment at Univer­sity Col­lege around 10 Mal­tese med­i­cal pro­fes­sions are work­ing or re­ceiv­ing train­ing. This newsroom has learnt that the ma­jor­ity of the urol­o­gists in Mater Dei had re­ceived train­ing from this hos­pi­tal.

Rachel Busut­til Leaver, who is a urol­ogy nurse, has been work­ing in this hos­pi­tal for the past 27years. She said that be­cause of the na­ture of her work she gets in con­tact with some of the Mal­tese pa­tients that come for treat­ment. Even though she left Malta 30 years ago she will definitely re­tire as Malta is her home. Mary Rose Fal­zon is a pathol­o­gist of the breast and lung can­cer. Dr Fal­zon has been work­ing in this hos­pi­tal since 1978. Dr Elaine Borg is an­other Mal­tese pathol­o­gist who has joined Dr Fal­zon two years ago.

The Pres­i­dent thanked the med­i­cal staff of both hos­pi­tals for the love and ded­i­ca­tion they show to the Mal­tese pa­tients She made a do­na­tion by the Malta Com­mu­nity Chest Fund Foun­da­tion to these hos­pi­tals to con­tinue their re­search in their re­spec­tive fields.

At the mo­ment at Univer­sity Col­lege around 10 Mal­tese med­i­cal pro­fes­sions are work­ing or re­ceiv­ing train­ing.

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