Health centres across the island will undergo a facelift thanks to €10million from passport sales have been handed over to the health authorities, the government announced on Monday.

During a signing ceremony, the €10million were handed over to the Primary Healthcare Department from the government’s National Social Development Fund, which is made up of funds from the Individual Investor Programme.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the health sector was tied to people’s quality of life – something the government was committed to improving.

The €10million will be used to upgrade eight health centres and 54 community clinics.

He said the event had purposely been held in front of Gzira health centre, where significant work was needed. 

Improving healthcare centres, he said, would also help ease some of the load off the state hospital.

An audit by the Auditor General, Dr Muscat said, had found that a significant portion of patients at Mater Dei could have been treated at community centres instead.

The prime minister said the government was also busy developing healthcare hubs – one in the north and another in the south. These two “regional hospitals” represented an investment of more than €75million and would also help take some of the pressure off MDH.

Dr Muscat said that despite the efforts of those who had tried to undermine the controversial passport-for-cash scheme, the government was putting the money generated to good use. 

Health Minister Chris Fearne said the extensive refurbishment was part of the government’s efforts to improve the service offered to citizens and the conditions in which healthcare workers spend their working day.

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