Natalie Briffa Farrugia

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Nelson Mandela’s words immediately come to mind as I ruminate over the storyline of CareMalta Group as it approaches its 30th anniversary in care. When I think of all that has been accomplished since our first investment through Casa Arkati in our hometown, Mosta, I am filled with a sense of pride.

One of our first aspirations was to bring quality care to the long-term care sector.  Years later, we not only have reached higher standards in care, but we have also drastically improved the quality of life – not only of our older population and their families but to a diverse population since our care has reached other sectors and peripheries of care.

The significant difference in the lives of others resonates strongly with the life and culture that a company such as CareMalta has nurtured and cultured. The employees that have served throughout the years have countless stories of how they have developed and grew as the company moved from one stage to the other. The satisfaction and unforeseen ramifications of touching the lives of others have always been higher than any financial reward that the industry offers.

As CareMalta remains instrumental to lead in the care sector, the most important element to secure future success is to remain strong in its ability to care. We never have endless time or perfect conditions, but the right thing to do is always through care. As the group diversifies from one care sector to another, the spectrum of vulnerability widens, and with that grows our ‘raison d’etre’.

The good we can accomplish might be difficult to see and impossible to measure but when the collective energies of a team come together with the right focus, the results surprise us. All this could not have happened were it not for the vision of my father, the founder, and a very solid board of directors that not only established the mission and values but was always there to support the management structure through thick and thin.

In my new role as chairperson of Vassallo Group, I acknowledge the contribution that every director on the CareMalta board has given through the years. The board has been endowed with integrity, respect, good governance, and excellence throughout. A special mention goes to Mr. Robert Brockdorff who served on the board wholeheartedly for thirty years since CareMalta’s inception.

As we transition into the next thirty years of care, I remain committed to ensuring that the board will continue to live the vision, take the best strategic decisions, and while supporting the new leadership to continue the mission, we will be there to help manage the risks that the future will present.

Looking to the future of care I am thrilled to see how the ten-year plan that CareMalta has in hand will come to life.  Embracing new realities of care and being ready to adjust to what the medical technology will offer will be critical. The health IT systems of the future will bring about efficiency gains, and cost savings possibly but also will allow comparisons between service providers and other institutions. We cannot look at care without factoring in the contribution of health information networks.

Our paths will not be limited to the territories we have reached so far, and soon we are very eager to introduce our care services to Gozo following the launch of CareMalta Group there last year.  Although thirty years have passed since we built our first nursing home for Vassallo Group, our dream for the future still aligns very well with the original concept. Offering a home within the community and creating a home-like environment.  The main challenge we face today is the fact that the home-like environment has more likely become an institution so our responsibility is to ensure that the solid structures that keep the family intact will remain solid collaborators in all our care scenarios.

We know that personal autonomy and personal choice will continue to be dominant values in the next thirty years of care.  I augur that all the care and other services that are and will continue to be offered through the CareMalta Group, reflect the enthusiasm, passion, and dedication of our foundations and continue to be the best choice for all who will benefit from it.