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LETTERS | Sunday, 15 July 2007

Doctors need privacy, too

Dr Martin Balzan, General Secretary, MAM

I refer to some comments made last Sunday in the interview section of your newspaper.
Mater Dei, like all other well-planned hospitals overseas, has a doctors’ quarters for the doctors who man the emergency services round the clock with shifts of up to 30 hours at a stretch. This is the designated area where these doctors can rest and “recharge their batteries” during their shift. MAM will resist any efforts by any contractor who for purely commercial purposes, with or without the support of third parties, attempts to take over this area away from its designated purpose.
The excellent relationship between the medical profession and the rest of the hospital staff is evidenced by the large number of hospital staff who bring their relatives over for medical care every day. Unfortunately this availability does mean that doctors need to be in secluded areas if they are to truly rest, and then continue with their various duties and operations with necessary lucidity during their very long shifts. It also for this reason that nursing staff have been provided with secluded areas on the wards where they can take their well-deserved breaks without interruptions from staff or relatives.
MAM is also in agreement that the common canteen on the ground floor will also serve doctors, so indeed there will be no seclusion in the main dining area, and it is absolutely not MAM’s intention to advise its members to do otherwise.
It is most unfortunate that the printed interview gives such a distorted view of the excellent relationship which exists on the job, especially amongst medical and nursing staff.



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