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Pharmacists escalate industrial action in State hospitals

None of the actions putting patients at risk, union says

Industrial action by public healthcare pharmacists has been escalated following a breakdown in talks over a new sectoral agreement which have been going on since last June.

Ordered last month by the UĦM Voice of the Workers, the action had been temporarily suspended pending fresh talks which were held over the last few days.

However, the deadlock has not been resolved with UĦM official Gian Paul Gauci, head of the union’s health division, accusing the government of failing to come forward with any counterproposals.

Consequently, actions have resumed and been escalated. This means that State dispensaries are opening an hour late and closing two hours earlier rather than one.

Furthermore, Schedule V cards (karta s-safra) are not being processed and hospital wards are only being given medicine stocks for three days in advance.

Mr Gauci, however, told Times of Malta that none of these action would be putting patients at risk. The actions will not impact the emergency department and the Intensive Therapy Unit. He added, that the UĦM was looking forward to have the government’s counterproposals in hand.

He noted that the issue does not revolve only about financial aspects, but mainly on a government’s vision for the sector and better training opportunities for their members.

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