Progress registered in health centres talks - 20/9/2006

link to The Times

Progress registered in health centres talks
Cynthia Busuttil

Medical Association of Malta general secretary Martin Balzan said yesterday that "progress has been registered" in talks on state health centres between the hospital authorities and the association.

He said the subject was "thrashed out" during yesterday's meeting, which lasted around two-and-a-half hours.

The meeting was described by director general of health Ray Busuttil as "very positive and constructive". He said there were a number of issues the two sides agreed on.

Although an industrial dispute registered by the association last week still stands, Dr Balzan said no directives have been issued.

The two parties agreed, he said, about the association's proposals "in principle" but they still needed to confer on the technicalities.

The MAM will now refer details to its members while the government negotiators would refer back to the authorities.

The dispute revolves around three proposals the MAM made to the government to improve the service at the health centres.

These were the prioritisation of patients attending health centres according to their needs; a system of continuity of care for non-urgent cases and improving the record-keeping system.

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