Italian Minister for Health, Hon Prof Renato Balduzzi, and his Maltese counterpart, Hon Dr Joe Cassar, have today signed three historic agreements through which Maltese patients will benefit from specialised health care procedures at Italian hospitals.
Maltese patients suffering from certain complex diseases and in need of specialised care will be referred to Highly Specialized Regional Centres and Hospitals in Italy, to receive the best treatment and management for their condition.
The Minister for Health, Hon Dr Joe Cassar, signed three separate agreements with the Lombardy Region, the Sicilian Region and the Tuscany Region in Italy. These agreements were signed by Luigi Bresciani, Health Commissioner for the Lombardy Region, Massimo Russo, Health Commissioner for the Sicilian Region and Luigi Marroni, Health Commissioner for the Tuscan Region respectively.
All agreements were countersigned and endorsed by the Minister of Health of Italy, Hon Prof Renato Balduzzi. These agreements build upon a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two Ministries in December 2009 and cover the diagnosis and highly specialised treatment of Maltese patients in Italy, the exchange of medical information and research, specialist training for Maltese and Italian health care professionals, the joint participation in medical networks, research programmes and development projects and collaboration in other twinning projects between Italy and Malta.
These agreements open up alternative channels in our National Highly Specialised Referral Programme for patients with complex conditions to be treated in Italy. Some Maltese patients have already benefited from treatment in Italy where patients requiring lung transplants have already been assessed at the ISMETT centre in Sicily.
The Ministry is also working to set up a similar collaborative programme for the treatment of kidney-pancreas conditions in Pisa, and patients have already been sent for assessment and treatment in Milan.
These agreements confirm the Ministry’s commitment in continuing to work for the benefit of the Maltese patient and the Maltese public.
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