We have now arrived back in my flat in London and I would like to pass on my appreciation to you for the kindness and standard of care I received during my recent stay at St Philips. From the initial contact through the internet to my departure everything was handled in a most efficient and professional way...
Ms. Robinson

St Philip's Hospital will strive to provide quality medical treatment in a humane and caring environment. We hold the patient’s interest to be our interest.

We are committed to providing a personalized, specialized, accessible and effective care of the highest quality within an environment of intensive care in a humane environment.

We are dedicated to meeting the needs of:

Our patients - excellent and cost-effective tailor-made care

Our staff - highly trained and dedicated

Our nation - partnership in promoting health.

Commitment – We will continue to uphold the highest professional integrity and to dedicate our time, energy and resources to offer the best service possible to our patients in the highest ethical manner possible.

Collegiality – Working as one holistic dedicated team, putting our resources together to serve our patients.

Consideration - valuing and caring for every patient. Putting our patients first: being respectful and thoughtful to their needs.

Dignity – treating all our patients with respect, the high esteem and dignity they deserve.

Honesty – Being truthful, honest, and open in our relations with our patients and their relatives.

Solidarity - To serve our patients, in the best possible way and to be compassionate and sensitive to their needs.

First of all, how would you describe St Philip’s Hospital?

I have been CEO at St Philips Hospital since 1999 and obviously I have seen many changes during this time – it is, if I may say so, a professionally run independent hospital focusing on a personal service and quality medicine.

From my own experience both as a Doctor (and as a patient who has undergone major surgery )- Hospitals tend to be very cold and impersonal places.

I can tell you that having been myself a patient being wheeled into a hospital on a trolley – a hospital looks a daunting place.

Our staff work hard to ensure that St Philip’s Hospital offers a warm personal service to our patients – I personally have no difficulty using the word patient instead of the trendy term client.
To my mind a patient is more than a client, a client has desires – whereas a patient has needs.

These needs cannot be met in a hospital corridor as is unfortunately the case in many NHS hospitals. We have ensured that our staff is always there to meet patients’ needs on a personal basis in the comfort of the patient's own room – not in a general ward with some flimsy curtain around your bed. Even the health department in Malta has realized this and the new state hospital is being designed on the same lines with private rooms as we have in St Philips Hospital.

What are the strengths of the hospital?

St Philip’s Hospital is a relatively small hospital and therefore our major strength is the personal service that our staff provides on a day-to-day basis. I must admit that we receive excellent feedback from our patients, including from many British patients on the NHS waiting list for a knee or hip replacement who are coming over to receive high quality rapid treatment.

What makes St Philip’s Hospital any different from the other private or national hospitals on the island?

The accent at St Philip’s Hospital is on quality-care – we provide a nurse patient ratio of not less than 1 to 6 for normal care that is one nurse is dedicated to look after 5 or 6 patients. Patients who are more dependent may have one to one nursing care. Quality care and personal service remain high on our priority list and from the feedback we regularly receive, it seems that our patients are appreciating the efforts we are making to provide value added service.

The first time I set foot in the reception area of the hospital, I was struck by the fact that it does not ‘smell’ or look like a normal hospital, and I almost felt that I was entering the lobby of a four or five star hotel. How do you manage to keep this image?

The so-called hotel services in a hospital are in my view an essential and integral part of treatment. I do not believe you can receive proper medical care in a hospital corridor – in an environment where overcrowding and understaffing are the order of the day. Indeed it has been shown that serious infections such as MRSA are transmitted from patient to patient when there is overcrowding and lack of hygiene. Keeping the hospital clean and treating patients in individual rooms is crucial for us. We do not compromise with quality and neither do we compromise when it comes to the well being of our patients.

Who is the typical Maltese patient who chooses St Philips?

In Malta our national health system (NHS) is based on the British model, where patients are entitled to “free” medical treatment at the point of contact. However every one is now realizing that the NHS in its present form is not sustainable – waiting lists are growing for a number of conditions, such as hip and knee replacement, cataract operations etc.
Therefore more people are seeking treatment in private hospitals. The percentage of Maltese people who are adequately insured is still rather low but it appears to be increasing. Every one should seriously consider taking up adequate insurance covers to ensure they can get high quality and efficient treatment the moment it is needed.

It is no secret that St Philip’s Hospital is succeeding to attract a significant amount of foreign patients especially British patients on the waiting list of the British national health system. Is it correct to say that patients on waiting lists are can have their expenses reimbursed by their health authority?

In the UK alone there are nearly one million people on waiting lists. This is causing a lot of hardship for hundreds of thousands of British nationals, including elderly people in need of knee or hip replacement. We believe that Malta is an ideal place for British nationals to come for medical treatment – in Malta there are no language barriers, our consultants are mostly British trained, and the British themselves feel at home in Malta. This is precisely why we are managing to attract British patients on the NHS waiting lists to come over for treatment. In the case of patients who have been waiting for treatment for more than six months, they could be entitled to receive free treatment abroad under EU rules. My advice for people in such circumstances is to contact their health authority prior to making arrangements.

Am I correct to say that two typical services British patients on the NHS waiting list choose at St Philips’ are hip replacement and knee replacement?

Waiting lists for hip operations are probably the longest – at least in the UK – but there are long waiting lists for other procedures as well. I confirm that British patients on the NHS waiting list for knee or hip replacement are regularly coming over for treatment.

What are the strengths of Malta as a destination for a foreigner patient?

A combination of factors is making Malta a very attractive destination for medical treatment. First of all the fact that English language is an official language in Malta is a major edge over other destinations. The Mediterranean climate and warm winter is also another consideration, especially for the elderly foreign patients. Other strengths include the fact that Malta is perceived to be a very safe destination and also the fact that our health standards are considered to be very high.

Do you receive feedback from foreign patients, and specifically from the many British patients choosing St Philip’s Hospital?

I will not be exaggerating when I say that we are overwhelmed with the feedback we are receiving from British patients and I urge readers to visit the Testimonials section in our site to see some of the reactions we are receiving from our patients. For several years we have been working hard to create the right atmosphere, to set high quality standards and to ensure that we always put the patient at the centre of our operations. It seems that we are now reaping the fruit of years of work by a dedicated medical team at our hospital.

Can you elaborate on the equipment available at St Philip’s Hospital?

Obviously modern medicine relies a great deal on technology – we have invested a great deal of money in the latest technologies – a fast spiral CT scanner that can scan the whole human body in less than one minute. We are also installing a new open MRI, and because this MRI is open patients will not feel claustrophobic – also kinetic studies can be performed i.e. the injured or diseased part can be examined whilst moving. We are continuously investing in state of the art medical equipment, which is a necessity in this day and age.

A lot of patients are usually frustrated waiting for the diagnosis. Does it take a long time to carry out the diagnosis at St Philip’s Hospital?

Waiting has become the bugbear of most NHS systems. Waiting for an unduly long period of time can have disastrous consequences. Many conditions are treatable if the diagnosis is made early – patients can deteriorate quickly.

I have established benchmarks at St Philips Hospital to ensure that from the time of admission the hospital will be in a position to perform all the required examinations and tests and to come up with an initial diagnosis in a time frame of four hours from admission. Unless you have benchmarks standards cannot be maintained.

Can you explain the price structures at St Philip’s Hospital? Will a patient know precisely how much he or she will be spending for a particular operation or is the price established after their stay?

Money is important, without money you cannot do certain things, certainly you cannot run a hospital – but money is not everything. Many patients are concerned about the cost of treatment. We have therefore established a number of packages for a fixed cost for surgical operations – once we quote a price the patient has our guarantee that the price is fixed.

Finally, what is your vision for St Philip’s Hospital? Where do you want to take this hospital…let’s say in five or ten years time?

I see St Philips Hospital as being the leader in private medical care – we will be bringing in new technology from Europe on IVF/ Assisted Fertility Programs/ Cord Blood Bank.

Next on our agenda will be PET / CT scan for early diagnosis of cancer. The future beckons – we will keep moving forward.

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