MUMN warns of industrial action as ITU reaches full capacity

MUMN warns of industrial action as ITU reaches full capacity

Source: The Malta Independent Monday, 28 September 2020


The nurses’ union has warned of industrial action over the fact that the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) has reached “maximum capacity.”

The MUMN said it is registering “a crisis and an ultimatum” in both ITU and Pillar 4.

“The fact that ITU has reached maximum capacity, compounded by the fact that Pillar 4 is striving to cope with the heavy work load, is quite obvious that the nurses are resorting to MUMN in the light that no proper decision is being taken by Mater Dei Hospital management,” MUMN president Paul Pace said.

“Having the ITU with no empty beds, a lack of nurses and with 6 Covid cases for weeks on end has brought a total collapse of the system,” he said.

“There were protocols in MDH which are being conveniently ignored by MDH management. Such protocols stated that when ITU would have a large number of Covid cases, MDH management had to reduce elective surgery so that extra nurses would be deployed in ITU. MUMN asks: why are such protocols being discarded and why were such protocols not put in place?”

The writing is on the wall, Pace said, and it is clear to all that electives need to be reduced so that nurses in the main operating theatres can help the nurses in ITU.

“The MUMN cannot understand how the Health Ministry stopped all elective cases and outpatient services way back in March when the Covid cases were very low, while now that Malta has one of the highest numbers of Covid cases in Europe, all elective operations are still ongoing as if as there is no crisis in the country.”

“There is an emergency crisis in MDH which your office is expected to address,” Pace said in a letter to Health Minister Chris Fearne. “If, in the next 48 hours no decision is taken on such a crisis, directives in theatre and in ITU will have to be taken by the MUMN. So Minister please intervene.”