The news that government has on election eve signed a rental agreement with option to buy St Philip's Hospital simply loses the whole logic for which the huge investment in Mater Dei was made in the first place.
Follow this trail:
- We had St Luke's Hospital with nearly 1000 beds but which was in desperate need of upgrade and renovation
- Somewhere in the first PN administration 1987 - 1992 an agreement was signed with San Raffaele Hospital of Milan to build a research hospital to be near the university so that it could house the Medical School.
- Along the way it was argued that operating two hospitals at St. Luke's and San Raffaele was a waste of resources as the medical staff could not cope by keeping a presence in both places.
- Gradually the San Raffaele project morphed into a larger Mater Dei which however still has been configured with some 200 beds less than St Luke's.
- Just a few years after Mater Dei was opened we have to make a substantial investment to build an Oncology Section next to Mater Dei and now we have to resort to making use of St Philip's.
- Which brings us back to where we started that we still have two operate two hospitals not one.
- Which means that we could have just as well renovated St Luke's and extending it as necessary by taking over the St Augustine friary and school ( for whom an alternative would have been provided in a much more decent place for their purpose) and kept San Raffaele as a small research hospital.
- Which means that the huge investment made in Mater Dei, which is a considerable part of our outstanding national debt, was very badly planned.
- Which means that government now has to pay top rent and purchase price for St Philip's while St Luke's is largely falling in a state of disrepair.