250 doctors support MAM - 5/10/2005

link to article in The Times

250 doctors support MAM
Dr Stephen Fava, MAM president, Dr Martin Balzan, general secretary, Mr Gordon Caruana Dingli, vice-president, Dr James Pocock, international secretary, and 250 doctors, Gzira.

The high level of dedication doctors show towards their patients is reflected in the low mortality and morbidity figures published annually by the Department of Health information at St Luke's Hospital.

These figures compare very favourably with the rest of Western Europe but are achieved at a fraction of their cost. The main reason for this is the low salaries 'enjoyed' by all medical professionals, especially doctors.

Saving lives is our business and we are all committed to achieve this aim, often working as a team across the various specialities. All specialities are therefore equally important and indispensable to good patient care. All lives are equally worth saving, not only those undergoing cardiac surgery!

We, the undersigned, continue to maintain that it is morally and legally incorrect for the government to offer different conditions of work to doctors in the same grades working within the Department of Health. We therefore urge the Department to rectify its position as soon as possible to the satisfaction of all concerned. This can only be achieved by improving the present conditions of work and offering equal opportunities to all.

The current poor conditions of work offered to doctors are resulting in more and more doctors leaving the island to seek better opportunities abroad. This is, in turn, results in curtailed services and increased waiting lists. Only by offering decent conditions of work in all specialities can we stem the current brain drain. Only this can ensure that the current level of health enjoyed by our nation be maintained.

We strongly object to the personal attack some elements of the media have launched on senior MAM officials. These individuals have gained our hard-earned respect and are considered leaders of our profession. We fully support MAM in its efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination and to achieve decent salaries and conditions of work for all doctors.

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