Union chief Paul Pace sounded the alarm again due to an average of three nurses a week quitting their jobs at Mater Dei Hospital. The head of the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) said that the main contributors to this rate are burnout, stress and lack of new recruits.
Many are also reportedly resigning to work in the UK, where, as foreign nurses, they are promised citizenship, free accommodation and better pay along with their families. Pace said that this three per week resignation rate is just at Mater Dei, with others nearing retirement and having had enough.
There were fewer than 4000 nurses working in Malta according to EU data from 2019. The number is believed to have dropped further, with 15% of nurses being third-country nationals. According to Pace, only around 100 nurses graduated last year. 20 others moved on to further study, essentially not joining the work force. ‘These numbers simply do not cover the shortages’ said the union leader.
He also dismissed claims that the pandemic resulted in more people being drawn to the profession. COVID-19 had the opposite effect. The health ministry acknowledged the issue, saying that nurses resigning are majority foreigners as they opt to work in foreign countries offering immediate citizenship to nursing staff. It also said that it will be issuing a call for non-EU nurses as well as taking on the local nurse graduates.
Photo Source: Chamberlain University, Wikipedia