Malta’s Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) has hit out at Prime Minister Robert Abela, accusing him of ignoring their demands despite the success they achieved in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even the President of America had the decency to meet the nurses’ representatives and was not ‘too busy’ to meet them. MUMN recognises a ‘fools remark’ which shows the lack of appreciation and unwarranted arrogance from the Prime Minister,” they said.
Nurses, midwives and other union members are set to join doctors in a strike should the government not ban events of more than 10 people by Monday.
MUMN accused Abela of undermining their success and of refusing to meet the union even before the virus outbreak began in March.
Issues like a lack of childcare facilities, huge financial losses and losing Sunday and feast allowances because of quarantine were subsequently ignored.
They warned that allowing mass events to go ahead is not in favour of the economy but “of a few greedy businessmen that are fattening their pockets with money which is more important than the lives of the vulnerable people and the healthcare workers”.
More than 30 nurses had to be put back to quarantine after the recent surge in active cases, which they blame on the “irresponsible decisions” taken by OPM and tourism minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.
The nurses and midwives request:
- All Sunday and feasts allowance to be granted for all nurses and other health care professionals that are sent on quarantine leave
- Meal allowances to be given to all health care workers working in St.Vincent De Paul, elderly homes, Mount Carmel Hospital, Gozo General Hospital, Karin Grech Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital.
- Twelve hours of vacation leave to all healthcare workers who are working twelve-hour shifts;
- Employ all Third Country National Nurses to address the shortage of nurses;
- Guarantee child support for those that need it, if the closure of schools and child care takes place;
- And guarantee the cancellation of mass events such as imported parties where no social distancing cannot be maintained.