Joseph Paul Vella
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Joseph Paul Vella

Joseph Paul Vella - Image - Edited.jpg

​What is your name and what is your
official designation within the Ministry for Health
My name is Dr. Joseph Paul Vella and I work as a Resident Specialist in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine

Where do you work? 
I work in the Department of Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine at Mater Dei Hospital

How long have you been working with the Public Service?
Since 2008 (13 years) 

 Are there any specific qualifications required for your post?
One must complete formal training in all branches of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine as outlined by the local Postgraduate and Specialist Accreditation Bodies. Locally this involves a 5-6 year programme with yearly assessments and examinations, as well as an exit exam in the form of the European Diploma in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (EDAIC)

What attracted you to take up your profession and to the health service?
Medicine was always a discipline that interested me, a coupling of Science and Humanity that appealed to me.

Of all the medical specialisations why did you choose Anaesthesia?
Anaesthesia is a very scientific and specialised branch of Medicine, where a deep knowledge of human physiology and anatomy, pharmacology and physics are required. Also the anaesthetist is involved in various aspects of medical care such as surgery, pain medicine, resuscitation and Intensive Care, all of which are highly rewarding aspects of our craft.

What motivates you most?
The good of the patient and a pursuit of excellence.

What about the teamwork between different professions/roles involved in relation to patient care?
Without teamwork, intra/inter-disciplinary respect and cooperation, there is no way forward in Medicine. I have come to appreciate the above qualities during my work at MDH. Without them, we all suffer, most of all our patients

Can you give us one challenge and one success story?
The COVID crisis has been quite a challenge for our Department, one to which we have risen admirably and are now leaders within the Maltese Medical Community, especially in our care for COVID patients in the ICU as well as in theatre for elective and emergency procedures. The way the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care has handled the crisis so far is our success story and a testament to our hard work and efforts, often under-appreciated and under-valued.

What advice would you give to young students considering taking up this profession?
It is a long, hard road, and only the best make it past all the steps required to call yourself an Anaesthesiologist and Intensivist. You never stop studying and you never stop learning. The profession is very rewarding and you truly make a difference in patients’ lives and care

What are the benefits of working with the public service?
The goal of the public sector is to provide a service to all and, as the name suggests, act in the public interest. This is especially true in Public Health Care. It is dynamic environment with plenty of opportunities for professional development. It provides stability as well as short and long term benefits. One can look forward ​to a welcoming, accepting atmosphere, with many options providing room for flexibility and personal growth.