The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

‘Patients should not suffer the burden from industrial actions’ – Malta Health Network

Friday, 5 August 2022, 12:29 Last update: about 8 days ago

Patients and their relatives should not bear the burden of suffering from industrial actions and disputes, NGO Malta Health Network said on Friday.

Despite disagreements which arise occasionally in the health sector between government and unions, the MHN urged all parties to take into consideration the patients’ health and wellbeing and ensure that they are given the utmost priority.

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The NGO said that directives issued by such unions, or the government should not in any way create unnecessary hardship to the patient and carer, who is at the receiving end of the impacts by the directives and have no voice at decision taking level.

“They are not represented or poorly represented at high level institutions such as the Council for Health and the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD),” it said.

The MHN said that it strongly supports previous statements issued by the Office of the Ombudsman in similar situations through the Commissioner for Health, that it is “inhumane for Unions to persist in using patients as pawns to pressure the authorities to accede to their requests.”

“It is utterly unfair and unsafe for patients to be made to suffer at the expense of such situations and is also an emotional burden for many health care workers who have their patients’ best interests at heart,” the MHN said.

The MHN said that during industrial actions in 2021, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry had said that such industrial actions will “seriously prejudice the provision of the public health service, possibly causing irreparable damage to the patients and users.”

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