The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, MUMN, has written to Prime Minister Robert Abela to address the current situation of nurses who are raising children and are currently utilizing their Vacation leave and cannot attend for work.
The letter sent on Sunday was signed by MUMN President Paul Pace and Secretary-General Colin Galea.
The MUMN said that there are cases where both parents are nurses. The union said these families need support. The MUMN explained that 38% of the nurses have young children
In its letter to the Prime Minister, the union said that childcare facilities provided can only address a small percentage of the nursing workforce who are raising children and nurses with babies and small children, together with those who work night shifts do not benefit from such childcare centres. The union also said that the nurses are not so eager to send their children to a childcare centre in view of the coronavirus situation.
It was also pointed out how before the coronavirus outbreak, the Health services in Malta and Gozo were already 400 nurses short when associated with the demands of the national service.
“This outbreak will surely increase the demand for nurses and drastic measures must be taken in these desperate times,”- said MUMN.
The MUMN is appealing to the government to consider seriously two measures to address the shortage and pressure on the nursing workforce;
- A chosen relative of a nurse who has children up to the age of 12 should also be given a two months’ vacation Leave paid so that such relative will be in a position to care for these children while the nurse (parent/s) is at work being on the day shift or night shift. This incentive was also provided rightly so to the private sector
- All overtime worked by nurses during these times should not be taxed at all to encourage nurses to work overtime. For the government it is useless adding extra beds in hospitals if there will be no nurses to attend to the patients using them
The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has urged Prime Minister Robert Abela to consider its proposals as the nursing profession is the only profession who is caring for coronavirus patients 24/7 and the demands and the workload ahead of them is something that none has ever experienced.
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