Organisations condemn the removal of public health consultant – Health Ministry replies

The Maltese Medical Association, MAM, has condemned the removal of public health consultant Kenneth Grech from his position as coordinator of the Covid-19 public health response team. The MAM said this happened after Dr Grech had the courage to recommend caution over the opening of schools. In response to this, the MAM said that tonight it is convening the Council to evaluate the situation and decide on its reaction to this form of intimidation.

In a statement, the Doctors’ Association expressed its disappointment at what it called mistakes as a result of decisions taken by politicians and criticized, among other things, continued flights to the UK. It added that the government should continue to support the tourism industry financially rather than encouraging behavior that could endanger people’s lives.

The development sparked the reaction of two teachers unions – MUT and UPE, the Secretariat for Catholic Education, the Association of Church Schools and Repubblika organisation who expressed their solidarity with Dr Grech.

In a statement, the Nationalist Party said that this confirms the Prime Minister’s arrogance. Opposition leader Bernard Grech said that the decision shows that the Prime Minister is deciding without considering the effects of his decisions, in this case public health.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry told TVM that it is not true that Dr Kenneth Grech was removed from the post he occupied because he was connected with the MUT situation, which was resolved last week. She added that the public health experts team, including Dr Kenneth Grech, were working on a strategy on how to use European funds for the health sector in Malta, however in recent months they focused on the pandemic.

The spokewoman stated that these experts have now returned to their original role so that the country does not risk losing millions of European funds for the future of the health sector and the country’s recovery from Coronavirus.