“Too little too late”; MAM to proceed with industrial action

The Medical Association of Malta (MAM) said that the new measures for mass events are good, but not good enough, and that it was too little too late. It stated that it will be proceeding with industrial action since it is reasonably informed that public health specialists were not consulted.

In a statement, MAM was reacting to the press conference given by Minister for Health Chris Fearne and Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci. This press conference regarded new directives for mass events, including there must be no more than one person per every 4 square meters, and groups must not be more than 10 people. These 10 people must stick together without mixing with others. Furthermore, the responsibility for enforcing these directives falls on the organisers, and attendees must provide contact numbers for contact tracing.

MAM said that it welcomes the fact that the authorities are acknowledging the problem with mass events. However, it believes that the measures do not go far enough, and that “it is clear that the party promoters have had their way with the politicians.”

The MAM thanked the Archbishop for his stand in cancelling feast marches, adding that it is disappointing that other mass events are not being cancelled. It added that the fact that no regulations are going to be published and no fines have been announced will mean a free for all. The MAM said that organisers being encouraged to self-enforced will not work in practice, leading to a repeat of the Hotel Takeover event.

The statement concluded by asking a number of questions. The first question was why is Malta doing the opposite of what it did in April despite the numbers being the same, and the second was why has a public health emergency not been declared.

The MAM council will meet tomorrow morning to finalise the directives.

The association has been threatening industrial action due to high risk gambling with the health of the Maltese people, especially when an effective vaccine is still not available. The call to ban mass events was also echoed by a number of other medical associations.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses, MUMN, has already taken its stand and issued directives to all its members in light of mass events not being cancelled.