MAM Declares Industrial Dispute
The Medical Association notes with regret that nurses are still being directed not to give intravenous medication to seriously ill patients. In the meantime doctors continue to do this work which nurses have been doing for years. Unfortunately,
1. The Malta Union of Nurses and Midwives has failed to provide a number of nurses for the continued delivery of essential and emergency services as required by law.
2. The Health division has to date failed to enforce the employment and industrial relations act, so as to protect patients from such dangerous omissions resulting from the discontinuation of an essential service.
3. The Emergency Medical service provided by doctors is now greatly strained, as doctors already overburdened by the overcrowding problem now have to take on additional work usually done by a much larger number of nurses. This is detrimental to patient care and can potentially have serious consequences especially if a number of emergencies arise at the same time.
For this reason the MAM is giving notice that it has been left no option but to declare an industrial dispute. Whilst it augurs that the situation be rectified as soon as possible, MAM may need to issue directives to its members if patient safety is compromised.
MAM also reserves the right to take any legal action it deems fit. MAM would like to note that members of staff who are on the essential services list are not protected by the employment and industrial relations act from disciplinary action, civil action for damages, and criminal prosecution for negligence if they cause an interruption in the delivery of essential services.
MAM sincerely hopes that a situation of legality and safety in the hospital returns as soon as possible.