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MaltaToday 20 July 2022 MIDWEEK

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TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT PAUL PACE SUNDAY • 22 MAY 2022 • ISSUE 1177 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday Do people have the right to know of their partners' violent history? PAGES 12-13 'Not a single ward where there are not enough nurses' MT2 INTERVIEW PAGES 2-3 Domestic Violence Private company runs Mater Dei IVF without government contract INVESTIGATION Is government IVF programme delivering successful results for parents and value for money? Dismal pregnancy rates, a lucrative contract that benefits one private company, and a failed attempt at outsourcing government's IVF unit raises questions on the state-funded assisted reproduction service Data from 2019 and 2020 shows that egg freezing in Malta is not even achieving any results MATTHEW VELLA MALTA'S government-fi- nanced fertility service at Mater Dei Hospital is a public-private partnership which has spent the last two years operating a lucrative operation, despite its government concession having expired for the last two years. With unsatisfactory IVF rates that are raising questions about the success and efficiency of the Maltese government's fertility programme, the private oper- ator Cherubino was allowed to retain the concession without any formal contract extension or renewal. And it is paid thousands for each IVF cycle by the State – af- ter having won the €1.6 million tender to set up the unit back in 2014 – but its role is to collect the data from IVF treatments to present to the Embryo Pro- tection Authority: it is the State that provides and pays the med- ical personnel running the unit. And a plan in 2020 by the health ministry to outsource the government's IVF programme, citing as reasons the need to improve success rates and bring down to zero the ovarian hyper- stimulation (OHSS) cases that prevent fresh embryo trans- fers… was inexplicably never followed through. In an analysis of annual embry- ology data and the fees charged to the health department by the Cherubino PPP, a picture emerges of an IVF programme which for the last two years has struggled to achieve positive re- sults in spite of an annual €1.5 million financing by the govern- ment. €1.95 CYBERBULLYING study reveals online cycle of abuse and retaliation PAGE 6 Gaming: a Maltese ecosystem MT2 OPINION Marisa Xuereb maltatoday | SUNDAY • 22 MAY 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The results of genome sequencing of 4,500-5,000 year old Mal- tese humans from Xaghra Circle cave burials revealing how the temple-builders went into genetic decline towards the end of the third millennium BC, likely a result of inbreeding due to not being privy to contact with foreigners due to a lack of boat arrivals and such. Why are we skinning it? Honestly? It's a slow news week and inbreeding is one of our last cheap-shot taboos when aiming for a good laugh. Make me laugh about our inbred ancestors, then - I dare you. They were short and procreated with members of their own family. Shouldn't that be enough for you? Your tendency towards such visual, bordering-on-slap- stick humour does speak to a particular Maltese tendency towards the same on stage and screen… Hauntingly suggesting that the study under consideration may even have through Well, same. But then you walk through the entrance into Val- letta only to find that someone has placed a series of planters in your way. True, that'll lead you to run out of merciful interpretations pretty quick. One has to con- clude that genetics play a big part of it, yes. Guess how many planters you'll find at Ggantija or Hagar Qim. Zero? Zero indeed. But there's plenty of space for them, and they may actually look cute lodged in the middle of a former place of sacrifice. Oh, weed and grass grows naturally around them... Indeed, 'life finds a way', as a famously enthusiastic prehistory buff once said. Quoting Jurassic Park may come across as something of an insult to the researchers whose work we're paying homage to here. Well, they better brace them- selves for even headier insults from a certain section of the Maltese online commentariat. Do you think that will force them to look upon their find- ings in a new light? Quite the contrary. Cause for celebration, then. I'll let them pop the champagne while we continue to wallow down here. "Malta's prehistory will fascinating, Cyrus Engerer An eye on climate change PAGE 13 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON Opting for Ukraine PAGE 7 No 140 – Our (Deeply Inbred) Ancestors JOSANNE CASSAR We're heading for a normal summer with abnormal staffing problems PAGE 6 EDITORIAL Agriculture is about food security, not just 'folklore' PAGE 2 SAVIOUR BALZAN Defamation and the Maltese courts: the chilling effect on the press PAGE 5 We need to rethink three main things: the way we create, consume and move. We need in a way that can be reused, not just to consume in a way squander maltatoday | SUNDAY • 17 JULY 2022 CLASSIFIEDS & COMMERCIALS ARTS • TV • WHAT'S ON Maria Christina Singer maltatoday Get the critical perspective on politics, culture and society Be the first to enjoy our print newspaper with a subscription When you need to decode what politicians are saying, when you want to understand why Malta's crazy construction industry is impacting upon your life, when you need to step out of the social media and understand the world from a different perspective, our journalists and columnists will provide you with expert reporting, analysis and commentary. Order now at

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