MFPA newsletter 04

MFPA newsletter 04
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Malta
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an institution established by the Treaty of Rome. Malta has been awarded 5 places in it. This institution together with the Committee of Regions (represented by the Malta Mayors Institution) must be asked the right to comment on all directives that the EU commission will be working on and issuing.

The EESC is made up of three sectors: one representing employers, another representing workers and the third representing NGO’s called Diversity group. The EESC Malta representatives this year are Stefano Mallia (who also holds the Presidency of the Employers’ Section) and Doris Sammut from the Malta Employers Association, MEA, representing the employers. Representing workers are Jason Deguara (GWU) and Philip von Brockdorff (UHM). Benjamin Rizzo, who is also President of MFPA, represents the Group 3 which includes representatives from NGOs all over Europe. Mr Rizzo’s appointment was voted, first by the section of professionals within the Civil Society Committee (CSC), and then by the 12 sector leaders of the CSC within MCESD. All appointments are supported by the Maltese government.

The members are then divided into six main sectors within the EESC structure and each member attempts to be appointed on a study group to work on and propose an opinion of all topics chosen by the EU commission. This opinion is discussed first in one of the six chosen sectors, where there will be around 110 members for the three groupings and then at plenary with around 320 members. Each member is free to make and suggest adjustments to the final document. A vote is then taken and the final version of the opinion is sent to the EU commission. The EU commission then gives its views within 3 to 4 months stating what it will accept from the opinion and providing reasons for its decision.

Section meetings and plenary meetings are held practically every month except August. The Maltese members usually travel to Brussels, or lately via zoom meetings, to give their views and vote on the opinions.

Professional Ethics: Safeguarding the service to the consumer
In 2018, MFPA carried out the project Professional Ethics: Safeguarding the service to the consumer thanks to funds through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations within the Ministry for Education and Employment. This project entailed carrying out two quantitative studies with two essential cohorts, namely, the Consumer who makes use of services offered by Professionals in Malta and University students and fresh graduates, who will be the Professionals of tomorrow.

MFPA commissioned M.FSADNI & Associates, an independent market research consultancy firm to carry out both studies on its behalf. We will present salient research findings of both studies in this newsletter issue and others to follow.

A Study on End-User Customers’ Perceptions on Services offered by Professionals in Malta
The overriding objective of this Study aimed at obtaining a sound understanding of the views, attitudes and perceptions of individuals (end-user customers) who used the services of professionals (various) in the last three years, hailing across Malta and Gozo. This Study, which was carried out in September-October 2018, was carried out with 400 consumer respondents. This study research findings ensured a statistical significance at a confidence interval (margin of error) of +/- 4.9 at a 95% confidence level.

Sourcing a professional and the salient expectations

When asked on how they source a professional in a particular field when requiring such services for the first time:
- 3 in 5 end-user customers source a professional through word-of-mouth recommendation when requiring a service for the first time.
- 1 in 4 end-user customers rely on recommendations from other specialists in the field to source a professional.
- The salient expectations of customers when receiving a professional service include: to receive a good service; the professional is to act in a professional manner; should show empathy towards the customer and be a good listener.

Consumers’ Understanding of the term ‘Code of Professional Ethics’
- Some 80% of customers believe that the term ‘Code of Professional Ethics’ refers to a set of rules; others believe that it refers to confidentiality and work being conducted in a professional manner.

- Only 1 in 2 customers believe that local professionals adhere to their code of professional ethics and some 40% of customers consult more than one professional for the same problem/service.
- A high 84% of customers believe that professionals are legally obliged to follow a code of ethics when providing a service.

Association of Podiatrists Malta
Podiatry is a healthcare profession which deals with the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and management of medical conditions and injuries effecting the foot and ankle. The foot as, described by Leonardo da Vinci, “is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” Therefore, this elaborate structure requires a specialised profession with the knowledge and capability to meet its demands.

The Podiatry profession is a relatively young profession in the Maltese healthcare system with Podiatrists only becoming state registered in the late 1980’s and even then, the number of Podiatrist was small. The Association of Podiatrists Malta (APM) was founded in December 1999 and since then it has continued to grow.

APM is a voluntary non-profit and apolitical organisation set up to represent Podiatrists in Malta. Its main priorities, as set by the organisations’ statute, are to maintain and upgrade standards for Podiatry in Malta according to the worldwide standards, promote foot related health amongst the general public and to act as an active voice for Podiatrists as health care professionals in Malta.

APM’s activity goes beyond Maltese soil. It is affiliated with the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP), where the current President of APM, Ivan Farrugia, was recently re-elected as Vice-President.

The APM would like to congratulate the Malta Federation of Professional Association on its 50th Anniversary and looks forward to continue growing the relationship for both the growth of Maltese professionals and in turn for the benefit of the general public.

Malta Association of Occupational Therapists
The early 1980s marked the beginning of Occupational Therapy (OT) in Malta, where the first clinics were set up in the main physical and mental hospitals. During this time, the practicing therapists felt the need to set up an organization to deal with profession-related issues. Besides, a course leading to a qualification in OT was introduced locally, through the Institute of Health Care, thereby increasing the need for a professional association.

The first official meeting was held in February 1985, where the first committee was elected from all the Occupational Therapists practicing at that time. This was the beginning of the Malta Association of Occupational Therapists (MAOT). The main goals involved formulation of the OT constitution, attaining recognition of the local OT course and shifting it to the University of Malta; and designing the OT uniform with its unique emblem.

MAOT values and empowers the active involvement of its members to encourage on-going development of the profession. It serves as a national and international platform for Maltese Occupational Therapists to ameliorate their skills and network opportunities. Its vision includes adherence to ethical principles and maintenance of high professional standards. This is achieved through a close network system involving local and foreign professional associations, NGO’s and other stakeholders, promotion of the profession; creating opportunities for continuing education and by providing a unifying forum for the profession.

In order to fulfil its mission and vision, MAOT initially became an associate member with the World Federation of Occupational Therapist and was finally accepted as a full member in 1994. During this year, MAOT was also considered as a full member of the Council of Occupational Therapists for European Countries. On a local perspective, MAOT joined the Malta Health Network in 2010 and is a full member of the Malta Federation of Professional Associations.

About Us

The main aim of the professional EU desk is to provide connectivity for professionals and keeping them up to date with any information pertaining to professionals.