Long sick leave certification procedure to be changed on MAM insistence - 10/12/2003

MAM has been in contact with the Hon Minister
Dr. Laurence Gonzi, with regard to public remarks and letters sent to a number of doctors by the director of social policy on repeat sick leave certification.

MAM has clarified that many times repeat certification is necessary for patients recently discharged from hospital with conditions such as heart attacks, surgical operations, fractures etc. It was explained that this repeat certification was done to reduce the inconvenience to genuinely ill patients.

Dr Gonzi said his ministry intends to clamp down on abuses, and to this effect has developed a detailed computer database of all sickness certificates including all details -date, name of patient , name of doctor, serial number, etc and in this way it would be possible to track down those doctors who do not abide by the law.

However Dr. Gonzi, accepted MAM's points on repeat certification and promised to modify the procedure for long sick leave for those with a discharge letter issued from the hospitals.

As this new regulation has not yet come into force, MAM is advising all doctors to comply with the instruction to certify patients every six days for the time being.

Martin Balzan

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