Pioneering the Digitalisation of the Healthcare Sector

As Maltese citizens, we are incredibly lucky to benefit from good-quality free healthcare.The issue is that with an ageing and growing population, this is just not sustainable without making some drastic changes to the way in which we work.

In 1910, the average life expectancy globally was 40, now it is above 80 and whilst this is an amazing accomplishment by healthcare professionals and scientists, it poses a knock-on effect to those countries, like ours, that offer free healthcare to its citizens.

We need to ensure that the Maltese government is doing everything in its power to harness the opportunities that are presented through technology, connectivity, and digital services, in order to make the way our health services work, more efficient.

Having worked in IT and IT health for most of my career, I can see the gaps that need to be filled in the current system. I can see how not enough is being done to modernise and digitise our healthcare, and I can identify and implement key ways of adapting and rejuvenating the way things work.

We must look to introduce things like remote monitoring, online portals for improved patient connectivity, the introduction of apps to monitor overall health, and of course, the digitalisation and centralisation of our medical records.

As well as this, I believe that we need a complete overhaul in the way that we approach health- my vision can be broken down into these key points:

Reactive to Proactive and Predictive

Wouldn’t it be better if instead of trying to fix a problem after it has occurred, we could work towards preventing it happening in the first place?

I believe this is an integral part of providing an efficient health service and if we can focus on educating, monitoring, and improving current standards of wellbeing, as well as identifying problems at an earlier stage, then we can help to reduce the burden on our medical professionals.

One Size Fits All to Personalised

We are all unique individuals and I feel strongly that at present, the current system does not recognise it.

This is due, not to any failing on the part of our doctors and nurses, but rather on the fact that due to their workloads and budget constraints, they are limited in the amount of personalised care that they can give.

It is very much a system of ticking boxes and categorising patients, but if we can streamline and improve the efficiency of all aspects of the sector, we can give power back to our caregivers to ensure that the treatment they provide is tailor made to every individual.

Institution Centred to Decentralised

By utilising the facilities at polyclinics, pharmacies, and other clinics we can take the strain off services at Mater Dei.

Paternalistic to Empowered

We must move away from this “nanny-state” and we must seek to empower and educate the Maltese people to take responsibility for their own health.

We must encourage better fitness, better diets, better knowledge of warning signs and symptoms, so that they can take back control over their well-being.

Volume Based to Value Based

At the centre of any healthcare system, there should be the core value of ensuring that quality of patient care is number one.

People are not items on a conveyor belt and we should not be rushing to “cure” people just to meet a quota.

We must focus on providing the best standard of care for every individual, whilst looking to reduce overheads caused by poor management and excessive administration.

We need to update our healthcare services before they crumble completely, and the only way to do that is by voting for a party that understands the need to modernise, and has the strategies in place to make it happen.