Open letter supporting people living with HIV
Hon. Minister Fearne, Minister for Health
Hon Julia Farrugia, Minister for Inclusion and Social Well Being
Hon Deo Debattista, Parliamentary Secretary Consumer Protection
Mr. Karl Farrugia, CEO Procurement
Ms Isabella Vella, CEO POYC
Dear Hon. Minister Fearne,
As President of the Malta Federation of Professional Association, I was alerted to another national health crisis that has been affecting the country in the past days regarding the shortage of HIV medication.
Whilst I notice with satisfaction the recent news articles and the press release by the Ministry for Health of new medication for people living with HIV, currently this is not yet available leaving some of the persons living with HIV without the treatment they are required to take daily.
I acknowledge that there are plans with relevant professionals for the drug replacement, the fact that there is currently shortage of the medication in the country for persons living with HIV is very worrying. Specialists in the field report that such shortage is having devastating and life-threatening impact on these persons’ lives. I was shocked to learn that people living with HIV have been reduced to beggars by using social media to request donation from other patients in order to curb the shortage.
As President of MFPA, which brings together Professionals from the health sector and other sectors, I would like to show our solidarity with the professionals involved directly with this client group who are having a difficult time adhering to the core obligations of their profession. This is not out of their free will but because of lack of availability of necessary resources to do their work properly.
I acknowledge the difficulties created by COVID-19 and by Brexit, however this cannot be
used as an excuse for poor planning. The Health authorities were already aware that treatment was severely outdated and detrimental to the health of those who relied on them. Had timely action been taken, there would have been ample time to manage a proper transition even when considering the current difficulties.
Whilst showing full solidarity with persons living with HIV, I remind you, that time and time again, MFPA has been very vocal in requesting that health authorities take the advice of professionals involved in a timely manner when effecting such changes this will surely have a more positive outcome for everyone. I am very aware that apart from physical consequences such shortage had a strong impact on the patients’ mental health status and thus we would like to support and encourage the professionals involved in supporting both physical and mental wellbeing of this patient group.
I would like to appeal to everyone’s utmost good will and efforts to sort this issue as soon as possible and have the required medication available for patients before it is too late.
This letter is being endorsed by the following associations:
Association of Podiatry Malta
Association of Speech-Language Pathologists
Chamber of Engineers
Dental Association Malta
Malta Association of the Counselling Profession
Malta Association of Occupational Therapists
Malta Association of Physiotherapists
Malta Association of Professional Conservators and Restorers
Malta Association of Social Workers
Malta Association of Youth Workers
Malta Chamber of Psychologists
Malta Veterinarian Association
Society of Medical Radiographers
Roberta Farrugia Debono
Malta Federation of Professional Associations