‘Gozo hospital is not prepared for Ebola virus’ – Nurses Union

Nurses union MUMN dismissed government reports that Gozo is prepared to tackle Ebola outbreak.

MUMN President Paul PacePhoto: Ray Attard
MUMN President Paul PacePhoto: Ray Attard

Nurses’ union president Paul Pace has denied that the Gozo General Hospital is prepared to tackle any Ebola outbreak, claiming that a mock exercise on how to transfer an Ebola patient to Mater Dei Hospital had never been carried out.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN)’s comments come in the wake of the government claiming that Gozo, as well as Mater Dei Hospital, is prepared for the Ebola virus.

In its statement on Satuday, the Health Department denied media reports that there was a suspected case of Ebola in the Gozo Hospital, and claimed that doctors and nurses in both Malta and Gozo, have been trained on the proper use of protective equipment.

Dismissing the government’s ‘assurances’, the MUMN has however insisted that the Health Davison “should refrain from issuing blank statements which are causing harming the nursing profession.”

Not only the hoods and the blowers are nonexistent in Gozo General Hospital but a mock exercise on how to transfer a susceptible patient to Mater Dei Hospital from Gozo General Hospital has never taken place,” the MUMN said.

The MUMN also stated that hooded covered gowns are neither available in the Infectious Disease Unit in Mater Dei Hospital nor at the Gozo General Hosptal.

Moreover, it stated that training has been carried out using the available gowns and not with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required to nurse Ebola patients.

While claiming that the nurses – as well as the patients suffering from Ebola – may be at risk, the MUMN also pointed out that although there was, on paper, a contingency plan for the transportation of patients to Gozo and Mater Dei, no mock exercises as to identify the weakness and the flaws of such plan were never organised.

“Nurses have also expressed their doubts whether the police have been trained to assist the emergency nurses in such circumstances.

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