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SIP 2017 - Statement

Dr. Maria Felice-Klaumann – GMMS, Malta

"Palliative care is becoming a very important sector and needs further development, especially here in Malta."


Dr. Maria Felice-Klaumann
President
GMMS

Malta and the aging population: The new challenge: Palliative Care

Malta’s attraction is its geographical location. Lying in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It is steeped in history, and throughout the ages has been invaded by many nations and civilizations. Today Malta is part of the European Union and is still as attractive as in the past. A lot of people migrate in winter to the sunny island or come and retire here. Mediterranean people have a longer life expectancy. This is a new challenge for the medical profession.

My personal life is full of migration. My parents lived in Malta and I was born here. The professional career of my father influenced the whole family, so that we moved to the Caribbean and back to Germany. Malta remained at my heart and so I came back to participate in my Famulatur in Malta. When I met my husband, and decided to stay in Malta once more, I started to work in the NHS. Coming from a University hospital in Düsseldorf, I had to learn differences in dealing with the patients. In Malta, the family played an important role in the treatment, consultations etc. Decisions would be taking by the whole family.

When I started working in private practice, I learned about the support these big Maltese families would give each and every family member. Palliative care was taking mostly place in the family home with the family doctor. 1989 the Malta Hospice Movement was founded and nowadays is helping over 1000 patients a year. It is a non-profit-making organisation, which has to finance 75% of its expenses from donations and volunteers. Since Mater Dei Hospital opened in 2007 the pain clinic and the palliative care unit were introduced. The demand on the pain clinic has grown steady. The government is now joining into a partnership with the church and the Malta Hospice Movement and will open a palliative care hospital in the near future.

Seeing that Malta is attractive for a lot of northern European nationals to come and to retire here, with no or limited family support, added to this the longer life expectancy in the Mediterranean, as well as the smaller family constellations, the importance of this project is so much needed.


Education


1980-1984 Catholic Primary School Pulheim
1984-1993 private school of the Ursulinen in Cologne which led to A-level and qualification for university
October 1993 started course of medicine university of Rostock
Summer 1997 Physikum-State exam Rostock
October 1997 Heinrich-Heine University (HHU)Dusseldorf
1998 1st State exam at the HHU Dusseldorf
2000 2nd State exam at the HHU Dusseldorf
2009 Master of Science in Family Medicine
Since 2003 working in private practice