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MAM warns health division to comply with EU Law or face serious consequences. - 15/7/2005

The Medical Association of Malta is warning the Health authorities that it intends to take all the measures available at law to make the Health Division comply with EU and local legislation.

In response to a parliamentary question put forward by Dr. Adrian Vassallo, Dr. Louis Deguara on the 11th of July stated that one particular doctor is given a much higher salary than Maltese doctors. The Hon. Minister was in fact referring to a doctor of Maltese birth with be a British passport is being given an annual salary of LM 45000.

Furthermore the person concerned does NOT pay tax on this amount. In effect, this privileged doctor is receiving the equivalent of LM 60,000 gross, six times the amount his Maltese colleagues are earning for the same work. Why is it that the Tax Compliance Unit is pursuing other doctors to pay tax, whilst a privileged person with a much higher income is exempted from paying tax?

MAM is also contesting that appointments are not being done according to the constitution, and the public service management code, as posts are not being publicly advertised, nor is a selection board being appointed as required by Maltese and EU law. The Health division just cannot not pick and chose a doctor and offer him vastly superior remuneration.

Eastern European doctors are unfortunately being led into a “tax free” trap which denies them of their social services. In his parliamentary statement Dr Deguara claimed that eastern European doctors were given the same Maltese salary.

Infact they were denied all increments, and many times these doctors are put on 1993 salary scales while most are not given credit for previous professional experience in their home country. Although it is true that the “income tax exemption” leads to a salary roughly equivalent to that of a Maltese doctor these doctors are being led into a trap which denies them a pension or access to social support once they stop working. Clearly this is both illegal and contrary to EU regulation of free movement of labour.

MAM’s position is that all laws should be complied with, especially when the employer is the government, and that all doctors should be employed according to the conditions stated in the collective agreement and that all discrimination must stop immediately.

MAM is calling on the Health Division to immediately comply with Maltese and EU law and is warning of serious consequences if such irregularities are not corrected as soon as possible.

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