Nurs­ing reg­is­tra­tion process at a stand­still un­til in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­cluded

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

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.

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