The Medical Association of Malta has ordered most doctors working at outpatients centres at St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo Hospitals, as well as health centres, to go on strike. The three hospitals are being sold from Vitals Global Healthcare to Steward Healthcare without any public participation or transparency on the deal.
The doctors partaking in the strike have been particularly demonised by Glenn Bedingfield, who is leading a misinformation offensive online to persuade the public that doctors are striking for their personal benefit to the detriment of patients.
1. Doctors are striking because of the corrupt privatisation
In the past week, The Shift News, in conjunction with The Sunday Times of Malta, has explained how the taxes are being drained by a secret agreement between the Government and Vitals Global Healthcare. The doctors on strike are concerned that this will have profound ramifications for the future of Malta’s healthcare.
2. Accident and Emergency, Oncology doctors are not striking
The Accident and Emergency unit is operating as usual. Because of their importance, they are exempt from the strike by law, and have not been ordered to strike by the MAM. Similarly, doctors in the oncology centre are not participating in the strike either. Nonetheless, A&E doctors have expressed their support for the strike.
3. The doctors are NOT striking in their own interest
Contrary to what is being said, the MAM is not ordering a strike for wage increases. In the Vitals/Steward deal, the MAM was left in the dark, and the Government did not respect an existing agreement where the doctors would have needed to be informed 6 weeks before any deal was signed.
Glenn Bedingfield is lying
Castille’s chief blogger has spent the day spreading false information to try and trick the public into believing the doctors were striking in their own interest. The truth is that Glenn Bedingfield, with the implied blessing of the Prime Minister, has been trying to distract public attention from the corrupt dealings that implicate high profile politicians, including the Prime Minister.
The primary concerns of the doctors are the patients and their ability to assist them best. The Government has refused to make concessions. The strike should be blamed on the Government’s stubbornness to operate in opaqueness, instead of transparency, and their preference to private investors to make a quick buck off the taxpayer.