No outpatient appointments from Monday as doctors' union issues industrial action directives

The Medical Association of Malta says government restrictions on mass events are not enough and it will go ahead with industrial action from Monday • Outpatient appointments and elective surgery are postponed, community clinics to close

The doctors’ union said industrial action will go ahead, as government failed to stop mass events
The doctors’ union said industrial action will go ahead, as government failed to stop mass events

The Medical Association of Malta has released the directives given to doctors following government’s announcement that it would not be stopping mass events.

From Monday 3 August, all Mater Dei outpatients appointments are postponed, and doctors are directed not to attend for those sessions.

All ultrasound lists have also been postponed, as from Monday. Both directives will remain in force for one week.

Elective surgery will also be postponed as from Wednesday 5 August, and this directive is expected to remain in place until Tuesday 12 August.

Doctors in the Accident and Emergency Department are exempt from directives.

Health Centre directives will mean that 42 community clinics will remain closed for one week.

Health Centres will be set up with a triage desk manned by a doctor at all times. Only urgent cases will be seen. Non urgent patients will be encouraged to postpone their appointment or call the telemedicine centre.

All clinically stable patients with COVID symptoms will be asked to call 111 and be swabbed before they are seen. Doctors are to wear PPEs at all times.

All diabetic and medical consultant clinic appointments will be postponed or held by telephone.

The Gozo General Hospital outpatients appointments will also be postponed, with directives in force for one week starting from Monday. Community Clinics will remain closed.

Doctors at the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, Mount Carmel Hospital and community psychiatry, Karen Grech Hospital, Geriatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine, as well as those working in swabbing centres are exempt from the directives.

On Thursday evening, MAM said restrictions imposed on mass events do not go far enough, stating it will go ahead with industrial action on Monday.

“It is clear that the party promoters, have had their way with the politicians as this will not protect the Maltese public at all.”

The union said that the fact that no regulations are going to be published and no fines have been announced, and that organisers are encouraged to self-enforce, will not work in practise.

But the health service will also be hampered by industrial action ordered by the nurses' union, with wide-ranging directives expected to kick in on Monday.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses also called for mass events to be stopped, amid other grievances concerning work conditions.

READ ALSO: Nurses to take widespread industrial action unless mass events are banned

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