Watch: Health Minister, PM dismisses claims of Grech’s redeployment

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Claims that public health consultant Kenneth Grech was dismissed are completely untrue, the Health Ministry said in its replies to questions by Newsbook.com.mt. The health ministry also dismissed claims the redeployment was in any way linked to the two-day teachers’ strike ordered by the Malta Union of Teachers.

Replying to questions by this newsroom, the Health Ministry said that the authorities are currently working on securing funds for Malta’s health sector by mapping out our National Health Strategy and the way it will be implemented using the the EU’s Coronavirus Recovery Fund and other EU funds which are available to Member States.

A spokesperson for the ministry explained that during the pandemic, the team of public health experts working on this strategy, which included Dr Grech, was diluted as their focus shifted on coronavirus-related issues.

The Ministry for Health would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Grech, and all the public health team, for their work during the pandemic.

“Since deadlines have approached, and to prevent the risk of missing out on millions of EU funds for this sector, the Health Authorities are redirecting experts back to their original duties,” the spokesperson said.

The Chief Medical Officer required Dr Grech’s expertise to make sure that the strategy is on track.

“It is for this reason that he has been asked to focus on the work he was in charge of before the pandemic,” the spokesperson added.

The Health Ministry thanked Dr Grech and all the public health team, for their work during the pandemic.

On Monday, the Medical Association of Malta revealed that an unnamed public health consultant had been dismissed by the health ministry.

The incident was condemned by various unions and non-governmental organisations.

Medical professionals expressed their anger over the incident when speaking to Newsbook.com.mt. Some have referred to the MAM meeting which will be convened on Monday evening saying that they expect clear directives which could possibly include industrial action.

There has been no dismissal – Abela

Prime Minister Robert Abela told reporters outside the House of Representatives that there has been no dismissal.

Fielding questions from the media, Abela said he would not comment on the advice the government received. He added that any decisions related to the pandemic are taken by the health authorities.

“The government does not interfere in the decisions made by the public health authorities,” Abela told the media before thanking Professor Charmaine Gauci for her work saying that she was instrumental in the reopening of schools.