Injustices tribunal upholds doctor's complaint on promotion (from The Times) - 21/6/2003

Farrugia Sacco, yesterday upheld a complaint filed by a doctor against the Chief Government Medical Officer.

Dr Joseph Mizzi filed his complaint against the CGMO claiming that he had suffered an injustice in July, 1993 when he had not been awarded a promotion to the post of Professional Medical Officer IIA within the Health Department.

Dr Mizzi claimed he had passed his MRCP Part I exam the month before and, in accordance with the practice adopted by the Health Department at the time, he was automatically entitled to promotion to the grade of PMO IIA upon passing his exam.

Although Dr Mizzi had applied for this promotion, it had not been forthcoming.

Furthermore, the government had entered into an agreement with the Medical Association of Malta in August 1993 in terms of which the promotion procedure had changed.

This agreement, claimed Dr Mizzi, did not apply to him, for his rights predated the agreement, and he had applied for promotion prior to the agreement being concluded.

Dr Mizzi requested the tribunal to declare that he had sustained an injustice, and to award him his promotion backdated to July, 1993.

The CGMO pleaded that the promotion procedure had to follow the terms of the agreement with MAM and that Dr Mizzi's claim could not be upheld.

The tribunal noted that when Dr Mizzi had passed his exam he was eligible to be recommended to fill the post of Professional Medical Officer II.

In fact two other doctors who had passed their MRCP part I exam at the same time had been granted this promotion.

The agreement between the government and MAM had been signed in August, 1993, after Dr Mizzi had applied for the promotion, and therefore Dr Mizzi's pre-existing rights could not be adversely affected by the agreement.

The tribunal therefore upheld Dr Mizzi's complaint and ordered that he be promoted to the post of Professional Medical Officer II A with effect from July, 1993.

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