Marius Caruana
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Marius Caruana

    What is your name and what is your official                designation within the Ministry for Health?

    Dr. Marius Caruana and I am a Senior General                  Practitioner within Primary Health Care.

    Where do you work and what do your duties              entail?

    I work at the Paola Health Centre and my duties              include general practice of walk-in patients including      routine and immediate care as well as running of            specialized clinics, for example Diabetes Clinic. 

    How long have you been working with the Public       Service?

    16 years

   Are there any specific qualifications required for        your post?

   Successful completion of Doctorate in Medicine and        Surgery.

This is followed by two years of Foundation Training and three years of Specialization in Family Medicine.

 What attracted you to take up your profession and to the health service?

It was always a dream to be a medical professional. It is a thought which you keep on nurturing and developing. The drive needs to be that whatever path you take, it keeps giving you a rewarding feeling of fulfillment.

What motivates you most?

You are there to give aid through your knowledge, your skills and more importantly through who you are. If you are all present in the service you are giving, the outcomes will be a unique driving force for you to keep going. It does not have to be all success. You keep developing, learning and become better even from things which could have been done better. The genuine appreciation given by patients who feel helped is irreplaceable. 

 What about the teamwork between different professions/roles involved in relation to patient care?

Working in the health service gives you the opportunity of both intra and inter-professional co-operation which can be maximized to give best service to the patients. As of late, the trend was towards highly specialized service, requiring the input of multiple allied health care professionals. Family Medicine is a field which is inherently general in its approach and thus the GP’s ability to co-ordinate a multidisciplinary team round the patient’s needs has become an elementary skill. 

 Can you give us one challenge and one success story?

A challenge for Primary Health Care is to re-establish the focal point of Maltese health care provision to the community. The building of a modern and highly functional hospital like Mater Dei had shifted this focus into secondary care. With an increasingly growing population, there needs to be a reverse back to the community, a process which has already started and needs to keep on being refined.

General practice in Malta has gone through multiple successes during the past years. The establishment of a local specialization in Family Medicine, under the auspices of the Malta College of Family Medicine and supported by the Ministry of Health, has created the opportunity for more doctors to take up this career, enriching the service through the diversity of its members.

The introduction of the Electronic Patients’ Records (EPR) by Primary Health Care is another milestone worth mentioning. It has propelled the service into the digital age, enhancing both the patient’s experience and opening wide the doors for research into the work we do.

What advice would you give to young students considering taking up this profession?

If you care about the well-being of others then it is the right path for you. Yes it needs long-hours of studying, yes it needs working grueling nights but the satisfaction given by a job done well will help you find your path through the meshwork.

What are the benefits of working with the public service?

The public service is increasingly becoming like a large community of its own. Via the digitalization of the public services and higher inter departmental co-operation, the service is able to provide a structure which will help you nurture your career while providing you the opportunity to balance work performance and quality of life via both an Employee Support Program and Family friendly measures.