MUMN or­ders in­dus­trial ac­tion at A&E depart­ment over ‘un­safe prac­tices’

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

In­dus­trial ac­tion was or­dered yes­ter­day morn­ing by the Malta Union of Mid­wives and Nurses (MUMN) for the Ac­ci­dent and Emer­gency (A&E) Depart­ment at Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal due to “un­safe prac­tices”.

Peo­ple who turn up at the A&E Depart­ment for treat­ment will be seen to.

A spokesper­son for MUMN said that ac­cord­ing to EU stan­dards, the A&E depart­ment must be manned by a min­i­mum of 14 se­nior nurses and six ju­nior nurses.

At present, the spokesper­son ex­plained, the Mater Dei A&E depart­ment is not meet­ing th­ese min­i­mum re­quire­ments, mean­ing that ju­nior nurses are re­quired to carry out the work of their se­nior coun­ter­parts.

“Apart from be­ing un­fair on the ju­nior nurses who are still train­ing, this also opens up a num­ber of le­gal risks and amounts to un­safe prac­tices,” the spokesper­son said.

Ac­cord­ing to EU stan­dards, a ju­nior nurse must be trained in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent mod­ules, such as how to an­swer the phone and cor­rect use of triage, for two years be­fore mov­ing up. Once a se­nior nurse, the per­son would be able to per­form his/her du­ties alone.

Asked whether pa­tients would be af­fected by the in­dus­trial ac­tion, the spokesper­son said the di­rec­tive or­ders them not carry out any triage work, but that all those who en­ter the depart­ment will be seen to.

In a state­ment, the Na­tion­al­ist Party said that once again the gov­ern­ment has shown that it does not have the right pri­or­i­ties.

The in­dus­trial ac­tion con­firms that the gov­ern­ment is not fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing health ser­vices. PN shadow min­is­ter for health Claudette But­tigieg called on the gov­ern­ment to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion.

Dis­cus­sions from to­mor­row

Health Min­is­ter Chris Fearne has agreed to hold dis­cus­sions with the MUMN in a meet­ing set to take place Mon­day 3 Oc­to­ber, apart from de­ploy­ing ex­tra nurses.

In a press state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day evening, the Health Min­istry said: “As was an­nounced ear­lier this week, the gov­ern­ment will be adding 125 nurses to the ex­ist­ing staff as from the com­ing Mon­day.

“The Health Min­istry con­firms that Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal al­ways placed the emer­gency depart­ment as a top pri­or­ity, as re­quired, so much so that in the last two years there was an in­crease of both doc­tors and nurses so that du­ties at the depart­ment could be car­ried out bet­ter.

“In ad­di­tion to this, there is also an in­for­ma­tion sys­tem em­ployed to help emer­gency staff bet­ter de­liver treat­ment to pa­tients, in a far more ef­fi­cient man­ner than was car­ried out in the past.

“In fact, to­day pa­tients are be­ing treated at the emer­gency depart­ment in less than four hours in 85 per cent of the cases.

“Other ini­tia­tives have also been em­ployed, such as the de­ploy­ment of am­bu­lances in Mosta and Paola, as well as an emer­gency depart­ment ded­i­cated to chil­dren.”

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