Nurses in Gozo have been ordered not to provide care or help with queries related to COVID-19 as from Monday, after their union registered an industrial dispute with Steward Health Care.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses said on Friday that the healthcare operator was employing foreign nurses at the Gozo General Hospital, instead of transferring Gozitan nurses who are currently working in Malta. 

Steward had broken a long-standing practice by ignoring an official list which allows Gozitan nurses to know when it is their turn to be transferred to Gozo, MUMN said. 

Steward Health Care is just a cold-blooded organisation

To this effect, it will also be holding a protest in front of Auberge de Castille on June 17, calling on the Prime Minister to intervene.

MUMN said it expected Steward to prevent the suffering of Gozitans who had no choice but to travel to Malta daily for work or to study. 

“Employing foreign nurses to work at GGH is an insult and shows great lack of respect not just towards Gozitan nurses but towards all people who live in Gozo. It shows that Steward is just a cold-blooded organisation.”

MUMN said it had contacted Steward Health Care to avoid the dispute but it was all in vain. 

It warned it will issue several directives applicable to all wards and which will affect all services provided by the hospital including that at Hotel Downtown where elderly patients were being nursed.

As from Monday, nurses will not provide care or help with queries related to COVID-19 at GGH.

MUMN said it “will not rest” until foreign nurses are replaced by Gozo nurses.

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