MAM rapped for its public views - 6/12/2004

The Health Ministry has rapped the Malta Medical Association for commenting publicly over a document on health reforms before requesting clarifications from the health authorities.

The MAM had deplored the content of a proposed document and said the proposals showed an absolute lack of respect for the medical profession.

In a resolution the association said the document failed to recognise the valuable and dedicated service which the medical profession continued to provide and unashamedly proposed completely unacceptable measures, which would definitely result in a deterioration of patient care.

In a statement the ministry said the MAM chose to publish the confidential document which had been forwarded to the MAM and other unions in October to serve as a basis for discussion on new practices which the government was proposing to make the medical services more efficient and sustainable and, above all, to place the patient at the centre of the service. The ministry said the unions had been requested to communicate their reactions on the document in writing by the end of November as some of the unions had done.

But despite this, the MAM chose to comment publicly on premature conclusions.

The delicate nature of the matter had demanded prudence and therefore the ministry felt that it was a mistake for the MAM to unilaterally comment publicly before seeking clarifications as it was expected to.

The ministry said that as other unions, the MAM had been informed that formal discussions were to start in January.

It added that this should be the forum where everyone expressed their views of the proposals with the aim of reaching an agreement in the interest of the medical staff and the patients.

The ministry concluded by appealing to all those concerned with the health sector to be prudent and to use common sense.

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