Nursing registration process at a standstill until investigation is concluded
The registration of new nurses is currently halted as the Council for Nurses and Midwives, which is the body supposed to filter applications for those wishing to work in this sector, is still without board members. Sources have confirmed with The Malta
Independent that the council is still “not constituted” as an independent inquiry over allegations of rigged elections is still on going.
Earlier this year, this newspaper has published a story that two candidates who were contesting the elections for board members of the Nursing Council filed a judicial protest claiming the election was rigged. The statement was published by Maria Cassar and Corinne Ward in reaction to Health Minister Chris Fearne’s ordering of an official inquiry into the allegations.
Now, it emerges that this Council is still dissolved until new members are elected thus halting the nursing application process with it.
This process hit a brick wall also because the inquiry launched by the Ministry for Health into these allegations is not concluded, even though sources say that it reached the final stages.
One particular nurse who spoke with this newspaper filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for Health over the issue. This person, who did not wish to be named, attempted to register as a nurse back in March but with no success.
According to complaint filed, the person who is a qualified nurse of foreign nationality feels that she was not approved due to the unbecoming level of organisation with the council, and because of the heavy handed interpretation of EU guidelines pertaining to the qualification of nurses.
This complainant is an experienced nurse with years of firstclass training formally employed with the best hospitals in Australia. However, she feels that the council’s lack of organisation is barring her from pursuing her profession in Malta.
Meanwhile, local health authorities are still finding it hard to deal with the problem of staff shortage. Earlier this year, the MUMN, the Union for Midwives and Nurses, declare an industrial dispute with the health department over Mt Carmel hospital claiming that a nursing shortage led to the escape of a patient.