Nurse assaulted by patient's relative, MUMN threatens industrial action

The MUMN threatened legal action if nurses are not provided with an insurance policy similar to the one handed down to civil protection workers

The union said that assaults were not a rare occurrence at the E/A department
The union said that assaults were not a rare occurrence at the E/A department

Following the assault of a female nurse by a patient's relative as she was attending an ambulance call, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses threatened it would issue directives to its members.

In a statement, the MUMN said that the incident took place on Friday 1 November, when a nurse was "without warning" manhandled down a flight of stairs on her approach to a patient by the patient's relative.

"This baseless assault was not aggravataed since neighbours and the general public had intervened so as to shelter the nurse from further physical harm and verbal abuse by the assailant," the MUMN said, claiming that such incidents were not rare in the Accident and Emergency Department.

"MUMN strongly deplores such aggression and hopes that the police will, in the coming days, arrest such perpetrators and bring them to justice. Nurses working in the E/A Department who are the first line for the hospital care should be protected and appreciated for their dedicated work in the E/A Department. MUMN expects the Health Minister and all relevant authorities to follow suit."

The MUMN said that the union had been striving to obtain an insurance policy for its members similar to the policy afforded to employees within the Civil Protection Department and the prison wardens, handed down by the National Security Ministry.

The union claimed that an agreement had been reached between the MUMN and the health department so that nurses within the E/A and the Mental Health department would be protected by an adequate insurance policy. The union claimed that such a policy was not forthcoming, however.

"If by 8 November 2019, MUMN does not receive the official document of the insurance policy for nurses working within the E/A department and for nurses working in the mental health setup, some directives will come into effect," the MUMN threatened. 

The directives it threatened the government with include emergency nurses being instructed to stop all their involvement and service with respect to priorities 3, 4, and 5 patients, patients who do not require immediate attention.

Nurses are also instructed to tell ambulance drivers not to exceed the speed limits of a local area due to health and safety reasons.

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