No future privatisation of health services ‘without prior agreement with MAM’

The Medical Association of Malta has signed two agreements with the government

26 May 2017, 11:38am
The Medical Association of Malta has signed two agreements with the Government of Malta, one of which improves working conditions for doctors and a second which ensures that all entities providing free healthcare are regulated exclusively by the same agreement.

In a statement, the doctors’ association explained that the previous sectoral collective agreement expired in December 2016 and MAM had instigated industrial action because of the delay.

The sectoral agreement regulates doctors’ working conditions in Government hospitals, clinics and departments. “There are improvements in working conditions for doctors and increased flexibility in times of work. This should lead to improvements in the quality of patient care,” MAM said.

MAM signed a second agreement to ensure that all other entities providing free healthcare on behalf of the Government are also regulated exclusively by the same collective agreement.

“The Government of Malta is the sole signatory and takes full responsibility for these entities,” MAM said.

The agreement will ensure that doctors working at government agencies such as the Foundation for Medical Services, Sedqa or any other third parties such as Vitals Global Healthcare will have the same working conditions and terms of recruitment and remuneration as all other doctors in the health service.

The agreement furthermore prohibits the Government from issuing positions of trust in the Medical sector, or to appoint doctors without a formal selection process.

The agreement also compels the Government to correct all deviations which have accumulated in the last three years by the end of the year, and bring all work contracts in line with the collective agreement.

“A formally binding arbitration process has been set up to make sure that government honours its commitments without forcing MAM to resort to industrial action,” MAM said.

“The agreement also stipulates that there will be no future privatisation of Government Health Services without prior agreement with MAM.”