Malta "definitely" needs a new general hospital, health shadow minister Adrian Delia said on Tuesday. 

The PN MP was reacting to comments by Health Minister Jo Etienne Abela, who said last week that Malta needs a new national hospital to keep up with the country's growing population.

Abela said the Guardamangia area that includes St Luke's and Karin Grech hospitals is ideally placed to serve that function as part of a broader "health village".

On Tuesday, Delia said: "I definitely agree with him (Abela) that there is a need for a second hospital".

He said the PN has no issue with that second hospital being located at St Luke's, or of having the private sector involved in running it - something the minister also suggested.

The PN's battle, he said, was against awarding the contract to run the dilapidated hospital to Vitals Global Healthcare, not against restoring the hospital and putting it to use. 

Because of that experience, the government needs to be transparent in how any eventual private sector involvement occurs, the PN MP noted.  

"We need to know exactly what will happen, in how much time, who will be in charge of the project, and that the project actually happens," Delia said. 

As it stands, the minister's plans seem vague, he said. 

"The minister should say exactly what his plans are, and we, as the Opposition, are willing to sit with him, listen, participate and share our ideas," Delia said. 

The shadow minister made his comments during a press conference he held alongside PN primary health spokesperson Ian Vassallo. They were speaking about the state of Malta's health care. 

They said that a lack of space, long waiting lists for operations, prescribed medicines not being available in the government formula, and a lack of human resources were serious problems in the health system.

Delia said that the health system is close to breaking point, and more investment in healthcare was needed to keep up with current and future demands.  

"For those waiting for an operation that hasn't happened, the system is already broken, and those waiting for an intervention that never happened because they died waiting, they surpassed the breaking point," he said.

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