Health Minister appeals to youth to consider nursing profession

Health Minister Chris Fearne says the past few months show how much frontliners are essential to the country and the world

Government has recruited 139 nurses and 8 midwives this year and expects to have between 150 and 200 more nurses
Government has recruited 139 nurses and 8 midwives this year and expects to have between 150 and 200 more nurses

Health Minister Chris Fearne has called on youths to consider taking up the nursing profession with emphasis on mental health nurses.

Fearne was speaking at a press conference on the occasion of International Nurses Day. He said that the pandemic displayed how essential nurses and midwives are in the health care sector. 

"If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important nurses and midwives are and how dedicated health professionals are," Fearne said. 

The minister said that Malta has around 3,300 nurses and midwives; however, this sector always needs more helping hands. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t need more. We are appealing to get more people working in this field,” Fearne remarked.

In 2020, 216 new nurses and 11 midwives were recruited, he noted. In 2021, 139 nurses and eight midwives have been recruited so far, and until the end of the year, the ministry is aiming to have around 150 to 200 more nurses, totalling more than 300 new nurses this year.

The health minister said the nursing path was enriching. "We are also specifically appealing for youths to consider a path in mental health nursing. In the coming year, we are working towards strengthening our mental health services, including prevention, education and support for those suffering from mental health, as well as family members," he explained. 

Fearne said in collaboration with the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN), the government will be holding mental health well-being workshops for nurses.

MUMN president Paul Pace said that he was happy with the COVID-19 measures in place and the low number of cases that the country finds itself with. “Today, with the measures we have in place and the vaccinations, a great response can be seen, and the health division is working almost normally.”

Pace remarked that a lot more work needs to be done to ensure that Malta wouldn’t need third-country nationals to fill in the vacancies but would be “self-sufficient”.