Steward Health Care Malta has on Sunday filed a warrant of prohibitory injunction in relation to the industrial action originally planned by the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, MUMN, which will come into effect today.
In a statement, Steward Healthcare said that the warrant was provisionally accepted by the court, with a hearing scheduled for later this month.
The dispute relates to the recruitment of foreign nurses in the absence of the possibility of release of Gozitan nurses working in Malta to Gozo General Hospital.
The company said that this was carried out with full knowledge of the MUMN and as an interim measure to support GGH nurses on the ground until such time as the Gozo nurses can be released from Malta to work in Gozo.
Steward Healthcare said it had also made it clear that these foreign nurses in no way interfere with the transfer of Gozo nurses working in Malta to Gozo General Hospital.
On Friday, the MUMN registered an industrial dispute in relation to this, instructing nurses to revert to their pre-COVID duties.
According to Steward Healthcare the industrial action would have several worrying implications, such as elderly patients not being care for by nurses, emergency care being suspended in Gozo, and treatment of COVID-positive as well as patients awaiting COVID results being completely stopped.
Steward said it strongly believes that this action is not in good faith. Whilst the right to industrial action is a constitutionally protected right that Steward will always respect, this must not come at the expense of patients and the Gozitan public generally.