MUMN orders directives - and comments further on the medical profession - 27/8/2003

taken as reported by di-ve news

MUMN orders directives to nurses and midwives
by Charlotte Bonavia, di-ve news (

As from Thursday they should not carry out any work unrelated to their duties and they should go to work wearing a black shirt
FLORIANA, Malta (di-ve news) -- 26 August 2003 2100 CET Updated 2220CET -- The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) in a rally held on Tuesday evening, ordered various directives to the nurses and midwives working in all the public hospitals and health centres.

The president of the union, Rudolph Cini, said that as from Thursday at 0700CET all nurses should not carry out any work that is not related to their duties. This includes computer work and other tasks which may be carried out by clerks, as well as errands that are not connected to their nursing duties. Moreover all nurses, except those working in St Luke?s Hospital, should not take any blood since there should be persons who should be carrying out this work, he continued.

Mr Cini said that as from Thursday the nurses and midwives should also go to work wearing a black shirt as a sign of mourning. This is a symbolic protest, he explained, ?We must send out the message that they are killing us.?

The MUMN president continued, ?We are currently at cross-roads. The door is always being slammed in our faces. The authorities have remained hostile and they state that there was no need for the union to persist in moving on. Your presence at this rally confirms that you agree with the way MUMN is proceeding and confirm its leadership.?

He said that when one visits St Luke?s Hospital one immediately thinks that Malta is at war ? corridors are used as storage space, wheelchairs without wheels, and halls without a television for the patients and others without a fan.

Mr Cini said that there were several agreements which have not implemented. These should be made concrete, he continued. According to these agreements, porters and assistant care workers were supposed to be introduced in the wards, however nothing has happened, he argued.

He said that three-quarters of the parking space in the hospital is reserved for doctors and consultants thus nurses and midwives are left with no space where to park their vehicles. Mr Cini said that the MUMN has finally managed to sign a parking agreement following an issue which has been going on for over a year.

He also mentioned the dining area for the nurses and midwives and said that this has not been refurbished, even though the one for doctors is ready and hinted that there are some doctors who dine there even when they are not on duty.

The president compared the Mater Dei Hospital to a person who buys a Rolls Royce car but does not have the money to purchase petrol and to maintain it.

?Albeit everything, disciplinary actions against nurses and midwives have persisted because they think that we are weak, but we are not,? he said.

With reference to the collective agreement, Mr Cini stated that the union is asking for benefits which other workers already have ? such as ? progression, continuing education allowance and early retirement. He said that the government committed itself to introduce these schemes for those who work under pressure. According to a recent study, he explained, nurses and midwives suffer from 93 per cent burnout.

He concluded that the authorities have only one aim: to leave nurses and midwives in the state that they are currently in, ?But we are strong and refuse to give up.?

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