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Doctors sound industrial action warning over staffing shortage

Medical Association of Malta gives two weeks' ultimatum for talks before proceeding with industrial action

Matthew Vella
22 October 2015, 11:50am
File photo: MAM general secretary Martin Balzan. Photo by Ray Attard
File photo: MAM general secretary Martin Balzan. Photo by Ray Attard
Doctors' union MAM has announced it is allowing two weeks of talks with the government on a range of problems, before taking industrial action.

The Medical Association of Malta said it would order strikes unless it sees a positive outcome on problems of shortages of doctors and consultants at Mater Dei Hospital and health centres, cost-cutting inside Mater Dei, and the privatisation of services at Karin Grech rehabilitation hospital.

The industrial dispute was formally declared today.

The MAM said industrial action would include all departments of the health service in Malta and Gozo.

The union said it feared that private operators of the public health service would hire doctors on their own terms, without having to follow collective agreements the association had signed with the government.

Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.