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SIP 2017 - Presentation & Statement

Dr. Alfred Sant – Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Malta

"Pain imposes a heavy burden on individuals’ private lives and leads to enormous costs for healthcare systems as well as for our societies and economies."


Dr. Alfred Sant
Member of the European Parliament, Malta
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D)

From the patient’s aspect, pain is not always a temporary symptom of a disease. In fact, it could also become chronic with the need of specific treatment. Sadly, too few chronic pain patients receive treatment with devastating effects on their quality of life, and eventually on that of their families. Figures show that in Malta, one in five people are feeling pain.

The SIP 2017 symposium aims at having a lasting political impact by addressing the issue of ‘pain’ within one of the health priorities being addresses by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU: ‘Structured cooperation between healthcare systems’. The official recognition that the Maltese government is giving to this year’s conference, also gives a unique opportunity to the EU and its member states to act on this urgent matter. Based on the above, and on the work being done through the platform ‘Societal Impact of Pain’, I fully endorse and support the goals of this conference.

Alfred Sant studied physics and maths at the University of Malta, diplomacy at the Institut International d’Administration Publique (now amalgamated with the ENA) in Paris, and business administration at Boston and Harvard Universities. He worked as a diplomat at Malta’s Mission to the then EEC in Brussels (1970 – 1975), as executive deputy chairman of the Malta Development Corporation (now Malta Enterprise) during the late seventies/early eighties, as a management consultant in between and later.

He was chairman of the Labour Party’s information department (1982 – 1984), President of the Party (1984 – 1988), a Labour M.P. (1987 – 2013), Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition (1992 – 2008) and Prime Minister (1996 – 1998). Over the years Sant wrote plays for the theatre, radio and TV, as well as novels and short stories in the Maltese language; was editor of three magazines and for thirteen years a correspondent of the Economist Intelligence Unit; and he wrote extensively in English and Maltese for the political and economic press.

Alfred Sant was elected Member of the European Parliament in May 2014.