The MUMN today signed an agreement with the government ensuring that all nursing staff working with the new private operator at the Gozo, St Luke’s and Karin Grech Hospital’s will continue to enjoy the same working conditions.
Addressing a press conference, Health Minister Chris Fearne said the agreement would ensure that all workers remain government employees and continue to enjoy the same conditions as they do today.
The new operator, Vitals Global Healthcare, will rely on medical tourism to generate profits, Mr Fearne said, while treatment for Maltese patients will remain free of charge.
Each medical tourist will leave an estimated €10,000 in the economy, Mr Fearne said.
Each medical tourist will leave an estimated €10,000 in the economy- Minister
MUMN General Secretary Colin Galea said the union did not want past agreements signed with the government to be lost.
He assured that nothing is going to change for union members working for the new private operator.
Standards can only get better and not worse, Mr Galea said.
Mr Galea said the agreement signed with the government is very detailed, regulating training, rosters, uniforms among other matters.
Non-Maltese workers hired by the private operator will have to learn the language within a year in order to ensure proper communication between Maltese workers and patients, Mr Galea said.
The company that was chosen as the preferred bidder in June last year for the public-private partnership will be injecting €220 million in a total revamp of the three hospitals.
The concession to the private operator is for 30 years and the capital injection would be made over the next two years.
VGH has roped in Partners Healthcare International, a US-based company that runs hospitals, to take care of the operational side.
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