Working group looks into problems at casualty department
A working group made up of hospital representatives and members of the nurses' and doctors' unions is trying to find solutions to problems plaguing the emergency department, at St Luke's Hospital.
The working group held its first meeting yesterday, which Medical Association of Malta general secretary Martin Balzan described as "cordial".
Staff at the emergency department, he said, were facing several problems, including periodic harassment from patients who were having to wait too long to be seen.
The working group also discussed the see-and-treat section, which was opened last week at the casualty ward but was closed the next day.
The doctors' union had refused to support it saying the association had not been consulted and there were not enough doctors to manage it.
This prompted the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses during yesterday's meeting to threaten industrial action unless a solution was found.
Apart from reducing waiting time for patients, the see-and-treat section also aimed to ease tension caused by waiting, at times for up to six hours, which has led to verbal and physical abuse of hospital staff.