A strong economy needs a healthy workforce – The Malta Federation of Professional Associations

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The Malta Federation of Professional Associations (MFPA) thanks the Health Authorities for the sterling job they have done so far in securing the low rate of spread of the Covid-19 virus, thus safeguarding the Maltese public and healthcare professionals supporting our national health system. We understand that the sacrifices that have been done, both on a personal and an economic level, were not easy. Professionals who have not received any financial aid, have experienced, first-hand, the economic implications brought about by measures that were implemented.

The Federation gives importance to both the health and economic issues affecting Malta as it’s impossible to separate the two from each other. This has been made absolutely crystal clear to all who have been caught up in this Covid-19 pandemic. MFPA believes that in order to have a strong economy we need to have a healthy workforce. Therefore, now that the country has moved to a second phase in the handling of the crisis, the competent authorities must ensure that initiatives to relaunch the economy are not introduced prematurely and do not counteract the successful public health initiatives implemented to date. A continuous risk assessment will ensure this. The Government must ensure adequate control and enforcement systems to monitor the economic activities it is re-introducing, while keeping in mind the good practices within infection control measures introduced by the Superintendence of Public Health in trying to keep the numbers of infected persons to a manageable number.

It is of paramount importance that researched and informed advice from healthcare professionals is heeded. As professional associations, it is our primary duty to speak in the interest of the general public, and hence to present expertise for the good of society. MFPA calls on the authorities to strengthen their dialogue with such organisations, so that decisions taken will be in the best interest of the general public.

It is important that the public receives one unequivocal strong message from the authorities. Infection control experts are claiming that the risk of increasing the workload on healthcare, by relaxing certain measures, is still present. Therefore, at a time when people are learning how to manage their lives and their needs in this new norm, efforts should concentrate on educating the general public on the importance and awareness of what protection and staying safe entails at this very important time of transition.

The Federation hopes that a good and balanced compromise between economic and health issues can be reached, and put into effect, so that we can come out of this pandemic as strong as we can.