The Malta Independent 3 October 2023, Tuesday
View E-Paper

MUMN expresses concern over ‘substantial’ number of foreign nurses leaving Malta

Tuesday, 2 February 2021, 10:19 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) has expressed its concern over the “substantial number” of foreign nurses leaving the country, something which is coming to the detriment of the whole health service in Malta. 

In an open letter to Prime Minister Robert Abela, the MUMN requested his intervention to address the problem. 

In the letter, the MUMN shared a letter written by hundreds of third country nationals who work within the health sector which expresses their concerns. 


The letter read that the main problem for these third country nationals lies in the “frustrating family reunification process and remuneration.” 

“We are working and living here in Malta for a very long time. We are front liners who suffer from psychological and physical strain because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, however we lack the much-needed family support during these difficult times”, the letter reads. 

“What we are asking for is our basic human right. We are financially unstable and cannot afford to support our spouses independently and satisfy all other requirements and are requesting to have them live with us in Malta. We pay high accommodation rents and some of us cannot even take a bank loan to buy domicile property”, they said. 

However, they said that they continue to wait for months, sometimes even more than a year, without any decision or concrete updates on their applications.  They said that many colleagues are leaving Malta to go to England or Ireland because there is no timeframe on the process for their families to join them in Malta. 

“Some of them are afraid to speak up thinking it might have a negative impact on their application process”, they added. 

The issues mentioned are on family reunification, with spouses not being able to join workers in Malta, and on residence permit delays, which can mean that sometimes medical emergencies or funerals occur back home and the residence cards are not issued on time. 

Building on this, many children of working nurses are seeing “massive delays” in the issuance of their residence permit cards: the letter shares an example of a particular case where the parents are still waiting for their child’s ID card from October 2019. 

Another issue is that when renewing their work permits every year, they are only allowed to do the required blood tests and chest X-rays at private clinics, something which they said is unfair as they pay high monthly taxes and national insurance like anyone else.

They said that they believe that they should be able to take the tests at any government medical centre free of charge, rather than paying the €430 needed for the tests every year. 

They cited one case where a nurse tried a “depressing number of times” to contact Identity Malta to get the work permit issued, with the answer always being "under process", until the frustration was over the roof and an email was sent to the Prime Minister, only then Identity Malta issued the ID card. 

“Do we need every time to email the prime minister for something that should be straight forward?” 

They also said that due to the above situations and the fact that they cannot save much, some cannot take bank loans to buy home properties. 

“I am sure you can understand our frustration and constant struggle all those years. We love Malta and would love to continue working here and enjoying the country. However, we would like to do that with our families. We are not emotionless robots; we need our spouses' support and presence of our children. We also need to be remunerated as our colleagues who are being offered better wages and allowances”, they concluded.

  • don't miss