Not one of Steward Health Group’s 41 hospitals in the United States made it to the top 100 US hospitals rankings for 2017 in the Healthgrades National Health Index. Clearly being “the largest private network of hospitals in the United States”does not mean it runs hospitals that rank among the best.

Healthgrades was the first ever doctor and medical services comparison company in the US. It is a not-for profit organisation and is considered the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

Steward Health Group’s 41 hospitals do not feature anywhere near the top ranked hospitals in the United States.

Healthgrades America’s Best Hospitals rankings are based solely on clinical quality outcomes and it rewards excellence over a multi-year time period. This premier distinction provides a measure of confidence for consumers.

To make it to the top-100 rank, a hospital must exhibit clinical excellence for at least three consecutive years.  Hospitals on the rank sheet “exhibit exceptional, comprehensive, and consistent quality year over year. Simply put, patients are more likely to have a successful treatment without major complications—and have a lower chance of dying—at America’s Best Hospitals.”

The new operators of Malta’s own St Luke’s, Gozo General and Karin Grech Hospitals do not meet these standards in any of the hospitals they operated in the USA.

Maltese patients are used to world-class standards of excellence in health care provision. In the 2000 world-wide ranking the WHO ranked Malta’s health service as second best in the world in terms of performance of level of health and 5th ranking worldwide in the overall performance of the health services provided in the country.

That is an old report and the WHO has focused on other more specific measurements in its rankings since then. But there have been no specific reductions in access to health care in Malta’s infrastructure since then and if anything standards were pushed up significantly with the opening of Mater Dei Hospital.

The future for those high standards appears unpromising.