President of Malta George Vella inaugurated the new premises of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) in Qormi. The opening took place on the day marking the 25th anniversary of the union’s establishment.
Before unveiling a memorial plaque, which was blessed by Archbishop of Malta Mgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the President said that he is hopeful that, thanks to this new building, MUMN will have more space to reach its objectives to always support the workers it represents. In this way, patients will continue to receive the best possible care. He praised the idea behind the Florence Nightingale Benevolent Fund, which will be of benefit to those members of the union who themselves suffer from health problems. He also noted with satisfaction the fact that MUMN recognised the importance of lifelong learning in the professional development of its members and has set up the Learning Institute for Healthcare Professionals. He expressed appreciation for the fact that this institution also offers support services in the field of mental health.
“Today, we are here to pay tribute to all nurses and midwives in our country,” said the President. “If we think about it, people in these professions follow us all our lives – from birth to whenever we need medical interventions throughout our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the invaluable work of healthcare workers. We have seen how, in the global crisis that we have been going through, they have been at the forefront, in our country as in any other country, so that with their skills and dedication they ensure that everyone continues to receive the necessary care.” He thanked them on behalf of all the people for not giving up and for always keeping in mind that patient care should come first.
The President, who was accompanied by Mrs Vella, praised the valuable work done by trade unions which, he said, meant not only the acquisition of better rights for workers but also a contribution to the development of better industrial laws which, ultimately, help to shape a stronger industrial democracy and more industrial peace. He pointed out that his presence at the inauguration of the new MUMN head office should not be interpreted as him taking, in any way, one side over the other in the ongoing industrial disputes. While pointing out that it is unfortunate that this anniversary coincided with these circumstances, he called for a way towards reconciliation to be found as soon as
possible. He voiced his hope that, around the discussion table, with good will on both sides and a willingness to compromise, the necessary solutions will be found so that patients – who are so dependent on midwifes and nurses – are not adversely affected, and their interests are kept at the forefront of healthcare workers’ priorities.