A total of 125 new nurses have joined the public health system this year after successfully completing their studies in Malta.
For the first time, the number includes 17 nurses which graduated in nursing through the University of Northumbria, which is offering a BSc Nursing Studies degree programme in Malta in collaboration with MCAST. The remaining 108 nurses obtained their degree at the University of Malta.
But there has long been a shortage of nurses in Malta, and the 125 locally-trained nurses will not suffice to fill the gap. Earlier this week, the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses confirmed that the government has agreed to recruit 267 nurses from overseas to help address staff shortages.
At present, over 3,900 nurses are employed in the public health system.
The new nurses were visited by Health Minister Chris Fearne at Mater Dei Hospital, with the minister emphasising that increasing the number of nurses had been essential to ensure that Malta’s healthcare system could handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former paediatric surgeon emphasised that nursing was a vocation, as well as a career, as he wished the new recruits all success.