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How Malta’s Medical Services Will Be Impacted by Monday’s Strike

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The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) and Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) will proceed with industrial action despite the mass event restrictions announced.

“It is not business as usual, but we are still in the middle of a global pandemic and the Maltese people deserve to be protected,” said the MAM’s statement.

Regarding Mater Dei Hospital, the directives say thus:

  • From Monday 3rd August, all Mater Dei outpatients appointments are postponed, and doctors are directed NOT to attend those sessions. This directive will remain in force for one week.
  • All elective surgery will be postponed from Wednesday 5th August to Tuesday 12th August.
  • All elective ultrasound lists are postponed from Monday 3rd August. This directive will remain in force for one week.

All doctors in the Accident and Emergency Department are exempt from these directives.

Regarding Health Centres they say that:

  • All 42 Community Clinics will remain closed and no General Practitioners will attend. This directive will remain in force for one week
  • All Health Centres will set up a triage desk which will be manned by a doctor at all times.
  • Only urgent cases will be seen, whilst non-urgent patients will be encouraged to postpone their appointment or call the telemedicine centre.
  • All clinically stable patients with COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to call 111 and be swabbed before they are seen.
  • All doctors are to wear PPE in all clinical areas
  • All diabetic and medical consultant clinic appointments will be postponed or held by telephone

In Gozo the directives which apply are that:

  • From Monday 3rd August, all Gozo General Hospital outpatients appointments are postponed. This directive will remain in force for one week.
  • All Community Clinics will remain closed.
  • All patients will be triaged at the Rabat Health Centre. Non-urgent appointments will be postponed and patients with symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to call 111 and get a swab before they are seen.

However, all doctors working in oncology, psychiatry, geriatrics, paediatrics and Public Health(swabbing centres) are exempt from these directives.

Interested doctors are encouraged by MAM to help out by applying for some sessions in either the swabbing centres or the contact tracing teams in order to keep up with high demand.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses also published their list of directives saying that as from Monday 3rd August 2020.

All nurses working in Saint Vincent De Paul, Mater Dei Hospital, Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, Elderly Homes, Gozo General Hospital, Karen Grech Hospital and Mount Carmel Hospital are:

  • Not to wash any patients.
  • Not to ambulate patients to an armchair from a bed and vice versa.
  • Not to accompany patients to X-rays, theatres, out-patients etc.
  • The only forms to be filled by the nurses & midwives are the nursing report, treatment charts, output/input charting, blood glucose monitoring, TPR and Sp02 monitoring; No other forms are to be filled by nurses, physiotherapists, midwives etc.

For the Physiotherapists working in SLH, GGH, SVP, MDH and KGH:

  • Physiotherapists working in SLH are not to see more than three patients face to face per day.
  • Physiotherapists working in the wards of KGH and GGH are not to access new patients and are not to carry out home visits.

To all ECG Technician working in all hospitals:

  • Not to take ECGs which are sent and ordered through the outpatient departments.
  • Not to take any ECGs requested as a review between 5.00 a.m. and 7.00 a.m.

MDH Theatre:

  • Only four theatres are to be used for emergency purposes only. All elective surgery is to be stopped or done without any nurses. All Nurses are to remain in theatre.

Primary Health Care Department:

  • No bloodletting.
  • No plaster.

The unions have said that they will only make the directives null if gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.

“MAM strongly urges the government to follow the medical advice in the ongoing pandemic and not to put lives and livelihoods at risk unnecessarily,” said their statement.

What do you think about this strike?

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