PM rules out reshuffle / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 29 November 2022

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Minister decries MUMN Directive as violence against elderly: A Government Minister has warned that a union’s directive could paralyse the entire health system within weeks. Active Ageing Minister Jo Etienne Abela said that one in 10 beds at Mater Dei and Boffa hospitals remain occupied by elderly patients waiting to be transferred to care homes. The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has issued a directive to its members that does not allow state care homes to admit new residents. This follows the suspension of a nurse after an elderly resident disappeared from St Vincent de Paul and was later found dead. “This is not an industrial action anymore. It has become violence on the elderly,” the Minister said. (Times of Malta)

Gozo sees recovery in business: A survey by the Gozo Tourism Association has shown after two years of the pandemic, the first 9 months of this year have revived the hundreds of businesses in Gozo. 69% of Gozitan enterprises in the sectors of accommodation, restaurants, diving centres, transport and tourism operations and travel agencies have reported more trade when compared with the first nine months of last year. The GTA said that the improvement was supported by the fact that 62% said that their trade in summer was higher than last year, while 28% said that trade remained the same. (Maltatoday)

Morning Briefing

Mental health complications to remain in bill allowing abortion – Fearne

Health Minister Chris Fearne sad that the government is ready to discuss ‘genuine suggestions’ for amendments to the wording of a bill which will allow the termination of pregnancies when the mother’s life or health are at serious risk. However, he dismissed calls for an amendment that would limit the coverage of the bill to women suffering serious ‘physical’ and hence not mental health complications. Speaking in parliament, Fearne said the Bill could be amended so that decisions in each case would be taken by more than one doctor, in line with the hospital’s current operating procedures. (Times of Malta)

PM rules out reshuffle

Prime Minister Robert Abela has ruled out a Cabinet reshuffle but failed to quash rumours Chris Fearne could be Malta’s next European Commissioner in two years’ time. “I am satisfied with their work and where I feel their performance needs to improve we have a cordial head to head discussion but everyone is pulling the same rope”, he said during an interview on Xtra on the national broadcaster. Abela refused to rule out that his Deputy, Chris Fearne, would be government’s nomination for European commissioner in 2024. “In Chris Fearne I find a strong shoulder to lean on every day… he is an important cog in the health sector and has piloted big reforms. If that moment arrives, which is something I do not wish for, that he contemplates other things, one will take decisions at that time,” Abela replied. (Maltatoday)

New MP denounces hunting in maiden speech
Malta’s newest MP, former St Julians mayor Albert Buttigieg, took an explicit stand against hunting and trapping in his maiden speech on Monday, seemingly setting himself apart from his party on the contentious issue. Albert Buttigieg was sworn in as an MP late last month after winning a casual election for the seat vacated by Robert Arrigo on his passing. (Newsbook)

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