Doctors suspend industrial action after government agrees to reinstate Kenneth Grech on COVID team

MAM reached a "satisfactory agreement" with the Health Ministry on Wednesday, and have decided to postpone all industrial action for the time being

The Medical Association of Malta has suspended all industrial action after government agreed to reinstate public health consultant Kenneth Grech in the COVID-19 response team after he finishes his duties on the National Health Strategy.

MAM president Martin Balzan told MaltaToday that the union's industrial dispute will be suspended once Grech is back on the response team, while all industrial actions that had been planned are now postponed. 

The union met with the Health Ministry on Wednesday to discuss the situation, after which a "satisfactory agreement" was reached between the two that would provide for Grech's reinstatement once he concludes his work on the strategy. 

Grech was told over the weekend that his services in the response team were no longer needed, and was instead redeployed to his original post to help secure EU funds for Malta's health strategy. 

This caused widespread outrage, leading MAM to give notice of an industrial dispute. 

Grech was the coordinator of the COVID response team, and in turn was the right-hand man of Public Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci.

MAM linked his removal to the advice Grech gave to the Education Ministry, church and independent schools to opt for online teaching for the first two days of the semester.

So far no timelines have been given as to when his work on the strategy will likely be completed.