Parents who have to quit work to take care of a disabled child will have their national insurance contributions covered for up to eight years. 

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said 2020 would see the completion of a plan that started three years ago to help people with disabilities. 

More details about the national insurance scheme and measures to prevent abuse would be announced in the coming weeks, the Finance Minister said. 

Deaf or mute people will qualify for disability assistance once they reach 60. 

Around 650 people are expected to benefit from this measure, which was promised in Labour’s 2017 electoral manifesto. 

Disabled people will also benefit from a €1,000 VAT exemption to buy equipment related to their disability, up from €600 last year. 

The government will cover the first three days of sick leave for cancer patients.

To qualify for this benefit, treatment must take place at the Mater Dei Oncology centre. 


Health: What the analysts say

“A number of specific measures were introduced supporting patients and their families. Whereas the focus is on benefits, more effort and investments need to be diverted towards prevention. It is well documented that the Maltese population is more prone to certain health problems and Government needs to take a key role in enhancing prevention. There is also a drive towards enhancing health infrastructure especially in primary and mental health care.” – Glenn Fenech, ARQ


For the first time, fibromyalgia and ME will be added to the list eligible for government assistance subject to stringent testing. 

A multi-disciplinary board will assess each case and periodic assessments will take place thereafter. Financial assistance will be given to those who cannot work and in terms of means testing.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.

Back in 2017 government had pledged to study and come up with outcomes about hidden impairments such as Fibromyalgia to be classified as disabilities. 

National Poison Centre

The minister also announced plans for the setting up of a National Poison Centre for the coordinated care of patients exposed to a variety of toxic substances.

 

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