Updated: Ministry denies nurses' claims on Gozo hospital
Claims by the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses that the Gozo General Hospital was ‘unsafe’ have been condemned by the Gozo Ministry, which described the union’s attack as ‘unjust and irresponsible’.
In a statement this morning, the MUMN said there were not funds to pay nurses to maintain proper standards of care. One nurse had to nursw about 20 patients with the result that the service has become 'a third world service'.
The union said Gozitan nurses were doing their best but they are stressed and frustrated due to the shortage of nursing staff.
The situation, the union said, has been building for years, with nurses who left not being replaced. There were 17 vacant posts for nurses. There had also been restrictions on overtime.
The union also claimed that the Gozo hospital “is rat infested”, with no air exchanges in theatre and no proper funding to provide adequate staffing levels.
It also complained that chemotherapy was not administered in Gozo and warned that if no action was taken by July 13 on proper staffing levels it would have to consider 'other alternatives' to safe guard patient safety.
The union urged the public to avoid Gozo General Hospital and use Mater Dei "which is much better funded, has no rats running in corridors during the night, has better staffing levels, offers chemotherapy and has a better air conditioning system".
In its reply, the Gozo Ministry said that services and medical care given at the Gozo Hospital had increased in the past years and these conformed to the standards established in the health sector in Malta.
The government had also increased facilities and medical equipment and improved the infrastructure and environment with several halls being refurbished.
A Radiology Department was opened, reducing the need for patients to travel to Malta and a new bone density testing service is being launched in the coming days.
This will be following with the restructuring of the operation halls for where new and modern equipment had been bought.
The ministry said that the number of nurses at the hospital was also going to be increase and discussions on this matter were being held regularly in the interest of patients.
The ministry insisted that services at the Gozo General Hospital were given in the most responsible and professional manner by all workers and it was not true that there were risks and dangers, as the MUMN alleged in its statement.
The ministry thanked all workers at the hospital for their dedicated service to the benefit of patients.