The Malta Independent 8 December 2021, Wednesday

‘We were told we were going to give 80 doses a day in clinics – we are giving around 5 or 6’ – MUMN

Jake Aquilina Saturday, 20 February 2021, 09:56 Last update: about 11 months ago

Nurses were told that they would be given 80 doses a day per clinic to inoculate the population, they are only being given “5 or 6”, Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) president Paul Pace told The Malta Independent.

"The vaccination programme is moving very, very slowly. It's no joke, for the last 10 days, 10 health centres were provided with very few vaccines when they have the potential of giving 800 doses a day; 5,600 a week – but we have not given more than 1,000 in the last 10 days," Pace revealed.

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“We need to start giving to the general public – are we still going to stay inoculating staff only? We can't keep on concentrating on just frontliners. By now, other countries moved on to the general public. We have just started the ones who are over 80 years old.” 

Pace noted that if nurses were given the number of vaccines they were promised, they would have “the potential to give 5,600 doses per week, yet we are giving around 500 per week.”

The president called foul on how the nurses in clinics are being left idle as they are not being given vaccines, and was displeased that such frontliners have shifted from their normal jobs – such as working in diabetic clinics – to vaccinate people, yet are barely receiving any consignments of vaccines.

“In the last 10 days, we stopped the services being provided by nurses in diabetic clinics and other services provided by such nurses so that they could give out the vaccines, and yet we ended up leaving them idle,” the MUMN president vehemently said.

"It's a mess how things are moving."

The president of the MUMN noted that he does not believe it is an issue of consignments being given from abroad, but rather that for some reason they are stuck in the health division and not being given to nurses.

"We are not receiving enough vaccines – and it's from the side of the health division. It's not a case of procurement from outside the country, but within Malta itself."

"Again, we are not lagging behind because we don't have the manpower – as nurses are stationed there as said before – but for the last 10 days, the health centres were utilised minimally due to lack of provision of vaccines." 

Pace said that the MUMN was going to release health directives to all nurses working in the healthcare centres to return back to their clinics, as he said he hated seeing nurses being idle due to lack of vaccines being provided. However, the MUMN was told that they will be provided with more vaccines next Wednesday. "Today we were told that next Wednesday, they will start providing more vaccines in health centres." 

"If this does not happen next Wednesday, I will issue the directive for all the nurses to go back to their station, and they won't go back, we can't play ping-pong with their jobs. It's a lack of professionality and responsibility towards the Maltese population," he said. 

 

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