The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) said on Saturday that contrary to what the Ministry of Health said that Mater Dei Hospital “always ascertained that ambulances were in a good state and repairs were usually carried out within 24 hours or earlier.” ambulances sent to the Emergency and Accident Department are sent back to the garage by emergency nurse and Mosta Health Centre Nurses on a regular basis.
MUMN said that this is all documented. “Nurses have to send such ambulances back since the repairs are not done…in fact MUMN were requested by the Emergency Nurses and the Mosta Health Centre Nurses to issue directive on this regard more than a year ago…and such directives are still in force.
On 7 August 2012 the Ministry of health said that “MUMN’s allegation that the ambulances were not up to standard was a “serious and irresponsible” allegation which undermined the work performed by the Biomedical Division.”
MUMN said on Saturday that it has just been informed that an increase in number of hired ambulances from private contractors has been ordered after MUMN issued directives to all nurses working in the Emergency Department and Mosta Health Centre since such nurses reported that ambulances are defective and not safe. This shows that the Government ambulance fleet is did not repair in 24 hours nor that are the Government’s ambulance fleet (or hired ambulances) actual up to safety standards
MUMN also said that on 12 May 2012 Health Minister Joe Cassar said that a standard operating procedure needed to be written up by the chairperson of the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department together with the management of A&E to give nurses permission to administer the medication. “This is happening as we speak over the last year or so, and is now in the process of actually happening.”
MUMN said that to this very day such permission to give life saving drugs to our patients by the nurses on ambulances is still being denied to the detriment of the patients. Nurses working in the Emergency department in Mater Dei Hospital are the only nurses in Europe who are not allowed to administer life saving drugs due to old legislation which ironically was supposed to have be updated at least eight years ago……It is not MUMN that is suffering neither the nurses who are suffering on this issue but our nation and our Health Service.”