The President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella, joined Drew and Noel on the second episode of Bay Chats and opened up about the COVID-19 situation in Malta and Europe. The President brought up a vast array of topics, and here’s what was discussed.
The Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation and the challenges which it’s facing in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, was very much, on the forefront of the discussion.
The President guaranteed that the provision of treatment to cancer patients, such as specialised chemotherapy, is still ongoing and has, in fact, increased. In his own words; “come what may! Oncology-related treatments, will definitely be funded, no matter what! Either through Private Sector donations, or, as it sometimes happened in the past, I will seek the assistance from the Government, which, I have to admit, has never been declined.”
This includes new treatment methods which despite being more expensive, are also being funded by the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation. His Excellency, did mention however, that COVID-19 is making it difficult for the MCCFF to collect donations.
“No one should worry, that at any point in time, or under any circumstance, medical assistance, especially assistance related to cancer care, will cease to be given. Just this week, we approved assistance for a person who needed extremely expensive treatment.”
Whilst stating that the COVID-19 Outbreak has brought with it an increase in social assistance requests, which the MCCFF provides for after the right verifications are carried out, His Excellency said that, the biggest headache for the MCCFF, was raising the necessary funds.
“This truly is an exceptional year, with most of the factories and businesses closed. Today it is very hard for businesses to donate as much as they used to donate before, as business is not what it used to be, and we are already in April,” the President said. With 8 months to go to December, the financial position of the Maltese public, who donates generously throughout the year, has to also be taken into consideration, since most families are directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak, and the preventative measures set by the authorities.
The President also spoke of the uncertainty with regards to the future of large-scale events, which are usually organised to raise funds, such as Rockestra (pictured above) which attracts thousands every year.
“We do not know whether these can be held after the COVID-19 calms down. For all I know, there might still be rules in place which prohibit large-scale events such as Rock Concerts etc. We will not go back to how we were 100%,” The President said.
Asked about how the COVID-19 outbreak affected those patients who were either abroad for treatment, or who were preparing to go abroad for treatment, His Excellency said that those patients who were abroad receiving treatment, are still abroad, and are still receiving the necessary treatment – and the MCCFF is still providing the necessary assistance. This includes the residents in the Puttinu Apartments who are assisted by the MCCFF through the funding of transfers, transportation and food.
However, with regards to patients who needed treatment abroad but had not yet travelled, His Excellency mentioned that other arraignment s were being made for them to receive treatment in alternative facilities Even in these cases, His Excellency said, the MCCFF is still providing the required assistance.
You can help the MCCFF by donating via SMS on the numbers below:
50618918 – €6.99
50619201 – €11.65
This article is the first in a series of articles relating to the 2nd Edition of Bay Chats with H.E. Dr George Vella, President of Malta.
Watch Bay Chats again below: