60 seconds with... Gertrude Buttigieg, Malta Health Network
Each month we will be interviewing an IAPO member in six short questions. They will be featured in our newsletter and the website.
Our featured member of the month is Gertrude Buttigieg from Malta Health Network. Gertrude answered a few questions for us.
1. Describe your role at Malta Health Network:
I am Gertrude Buttigieg, Honorary Secretary of the Malta Health Network (MHN). I have seen MHN being born and grow every day. As secretary I deal with all things going on within MHN from correspondence, emails, website updates & Facebook.
I am responsible for minutes taking during board meetings and see that decisions taken during board meetings are acted upon. I am the main contact person for MHN and deal with all queries both from members and other organisations. In a few words I deal with a lot of things to make sure we are there for those who need us. I am also responsible to take care of our European and International contacts.
2. I do what I do because...
I believe in MHN, in its cause, its mission, its reason for existing and thus I give my utmost to see that MHN is there for the patients, carers and all others who need a voice where health matters. I have seen authorities also understand more the importance of giving patients a voice which is another aim of MHN.
3. Why does Malta Health Network exist?
The Malta Health Network brings together over 30 health related organisations; these include patient support groups and professional bodies. MHN aims to be a voice and represent in Malta, in the EU and internationally, the interests of patients and the health of the community, developing better coordination, collaboration and capacity building through exchange of best practice among health NGOs, ‘not for profit’ organizations and patient representative groups.
4. What is your biggest achievement as an organization in the past year?
MHN was the first entity to promote the European Charter of Patients' Rights in Malta and raise awareness of the Patients’ Rights in Cross Border Health Care Directive. In 2013 Malta enacted an new Health Act and part of it is the establishment of Charter of Patients’ Rights by the end of 2015. This is considered an major milestone for MHN’s work.
5. What does patient-centred healthcare look like to you?
Patient-centred healthcare is when services are built to look at the person as a whole, not as a condition, as a ‘that kind of illness’ patient and services are developed to meet people’s needs and not the other way round.
6. What do you think is the key benefit of being involved with IAPO and a global alliance for patients?
I was the one to recommend MHN to join IAPO after I read about the lot of work IAPO does to empower patients, to raise the awareness and educate about health problems and issues. It is also an active player in providing possible solutions to health issues. IAPO is quoted in various reports as a reputable entity and thus it is the privilege of MHN to be part of such a big and highly regarded entity in the health sector.
If you are an IAPO member and would like to be featured in our '60 seconds with...' series, please get in touch.