MUMN issues directives to nurses at Gozo Hospital over shortage of carers
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The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has said this morning that the Health Department has allowed a great shortage of carers in Gozo General Hospital to take place over this year and half at the detriment of the patients and the elderly residents residing in the St Anna Ward.
The Union said that it has therefore given a directive to all nurses at the GGH, including those working in St. Anna Ward, to stop doing the work of the carers and concentrate only on their own responsibilities.
The MUMN said that these shortages of carers were also due to the fact that “certain carers were transferred to security guards or other duties without any replacements. Presently over twenty carers are needed to fill the long existing vacancies in a small hospital such as the Gozo General hospital.”
The MUMN statement said that although it has been sending correspondence about this issue for more than a year, the commitments by the Health Division of engaging carers never materialised, even though this was promised on numerous occasions.
“While nurses were transferred from Malta to GGH three times in this legislation (due to MUMN directives), carers who are an important supporting staff to nurses (especially in the elderly care), were never recruited in Gozo General Hospital.”
MUMN said in its statement that initially it gave a deadline to the Health Department that if by the 10th October 2014 such carers are not provided, all nurses in Gozo General hospital including the nurses working in St. Anna Ward would stop doing the work of the carers and concentrate only on their responsibilities.
“MUMN extended this deadline to the 15th October so as to give ample chance for the Health Division to solve this situation but unfortunately this was not materialised although the Ministry for Gozo allocated funds to the Health Division to employ these carers. MUMN has now no other option but to issue the industrial directives with immediate effect.”
“For more than a year nurses in GGH especially those working in Ward St. Anna had to do all the additional work which should have been provided by carers just to maintain a decent service to the elderly and due to the great respect nurses have for their patients,” the Union said.
“But after a year of just unkept promises and taking MUMN for a ride, it has become clear that the elderly patients of Gozo General Hospital are not of a priority to the Heath Department in Malta.