MUMN warns that nurses might not attend Coronavirus patients

Miguela Xuereb

The MUMN has warned that if proposals submitted to the Health Minister to address anxiety and provide incentives when Nurses are to be chosen to the high-risk areas, are not done or solutions are not adequate, the MUMN will issue directives for them not to attend to Coronavirus patients across the whole health sector. 

In view of the latest developments on the Coronavirus, and also in view of the union being bombarded by Nurses who are worried that they or their ward could be chosen in case of an outbreak in their hospital, the MUMN said that every hospital will need to identify a ward which would take in patients with the Co-Vid19. 

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses repeated the claim that there are no proper contingency plans in place and there are still no agreed criteria on how staff is to be chosen. It added that for the MUMN, the argument that the Co-Vid19 is the usual seasonal flu virus is not acceptable and expects the Government to take extra measures to ensure better Health and Safety arrangement and better compensation for nurses. 

In its proposals, the Malta Union of Midwives and nurses has called for more intensive training then just donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) since the current training provided is not enough. The MUMN said that it has requested drills for Nurses working in the wards so that Nurses would get use working with PPEs for longer periods. 

In another request, the MUMN proposed that there will be staff rotation on two levels. Groups of Nurses rotating during the day shift and night shift as to lessen the anxiety and the physical strain of PPEs on the wards chosen to host Coronavirus patients while MUMN proposed the second type of rotation that Nurses will only work for two weeks in the high risk areas and be replaced by others Nurses after two weeks. 

Apart from that the MUMN requested Danger Money for Nurses working in such high-risk areas since nursing is the only profession which has the maximum exposure of 24/7 and also requested that there need to be a quarantine facility for Nurses and other members of staff in a comfortable setting so as not to infect their families in cases of cross transmission. 

The Union said that it is not accepting Public Health Self Quarantines to any of its members without pay while it is seeking insurance to all staff concerned. 

In another development, during a Press Conference, the Medical Association of Malta said that the government is failing to protect the health of the population by overruling the advice of professionals about Coronavirus, the Medical Association of Malta said.