Dispute over young doctors' 'delayed' appointments - The Times - 6/11/2004

Cynthia Busuttil

The Medical Association of Malta is considering issuing directives to a group of doctors over a dispute on their appointments but secretary general Martin Balzan is hoping "common sense prevails" and action would not need to be taken.

The issue involves a group of about 30 young doctors who some weeks ago passed selection proceedings to be appointed senior house officers in the accident and emergency department, the department of medicine, the department of surgery and Mount Carmel Hospital.

The MAM council will be meeting on Monday to decide on a course of action. When contacted Dr Balzan refrained from saying what the possible directives would be, stressing that the association hoped that a solution would be found. However, he said the association was ready to resort to industrial action if need be.

Management and Personnel Office director general Joe Izzo said when contacted that the procedure to finalise the official appointments was in its final stages and should be finalised in a couple of days' time. Mr Izzo said the appointments took some time to be finalised because the office first checks with the budget office whether the necessary funds are available.

Dr Balzan said that since the young doctors have already started their new job their responsibility had increased and therefore it was only fair that they should be remunerated accordingly.

The MAM is hoping the doctors are given their official appointment backdated to the day they started their new post. However, Mr Izzo said it was not the practice to backdate the official appointments and these would come into force on the day the Prime Minister signs them.

Report in L-orrizont

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