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Medical Union Threatens Industrial Action After Removal Of COVID-19 Response Team Head Kenneth Grech

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The Medical Association of Malta has threatened industrial action after Kenneth Grech, who led Malta’s COVID-19 response team, was removed yesterday.

Grech was allegedly dismissed over a leak involving his advice on schools’ reopening while COVID-19 cases spike after the festive season.

“The transfer of a Public Health Consultant for expressing his professional judgement is unacceptable. It is the ethical duty of each doctor to give the best possible medical advice,” the union wrote in a statement.

However, the Health Ministry has denied this, saying Grech was not fired from his position but rather has been “redirected” to his original pre-pandemic duties.

Sources speaking to the Times of Malta claimed that the public health consultant told the Education Ministry and other stakeholders to shut down schools as cases spike after Christmas. The advice, the report says, was leaked to the Malta Union of Teachers, who then called a two-day strike over the issue. Schools have since reopened after talks between MUT and the government.

The MAM lambasted the firing, and called an urgent meeting with Health Minister Chris Fearne to “safeguard doctors’ independent medical practice”.

“The removal of this consultant is of concern to all professionals in all grades,” it stressed.

The union gave its notice for industrial action starting Thursday, with the intention of escalating on Monday 18th January.

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