The good review given to the Medicines Authority on its recruitment process in recent years is a living testament to the synergy which can exist when employers and unions work hand in hand. This endorsement was given in an analysis which the National Audit Office carried out on this regulator where the UHM Voice of the Workers has official recognition.

“The relationship between the Authority and the UHM Voice of the Workers is one of cordiality and mutual respect, with both sides strongly agreeing on the principles of equality and on work-life balance, which are of benefit to all. “

An Authority spokesperson gave this reaction when asked on the NAO report by Voice of the Workers Weekly.

The audit heaped praise on the Medicines Authority for the recruitment process adopted since 2012 when its operations expanded to the point that its staff more than doubled, increasing from 36 to 88 by 2019. It transpires that the watchdog scored maximum points in an analysis of the 18 calls published last year which resulted in the recruitment of 36 employees. The fact there were no complaints on the results was testament to the good practice adopted, the NAO said.

The Authority’s spokesperson remarked that the agreement with UHM on the operations during the pandemic was testament on how this relationship was being translated to concrete results.

“By mutual agreement, this challenge turned into an opportunity for the Authority’s work not only to continue smoothly, but also to increase productivity while taking all necessary measures to safeguard health and safety of all employees. As matter of fact the Authority was cited as a good example of how public entities should operate,” the spokesperson added.

The report highlighted how the fundamental principles for the successful management of public bodies – including collegiality, teamwork, investment in education and training, participation in European and international activities, transparency, the adoption of standard operating procedures, the protection of the quality, efficacy and safety of medicines, and above all putting the client (in the case of the Authority, the patient ) at the heart of operations – are central to the work of this regulator.

In his report the Auditor General described the Authority as a centre of excellence and an example of best practice in place. This result further confirms how strong working relationships between management and a union are indispensable for success.

The spokesperson explained that the Authority enjoys strong links based on the principle of sincere cooperation and built on a constructive and ongoing dialogue with all parties, including the private sector and central government. She said these principles were reciprocated by the Ministry and the Parliamentary Secretariat responsible for the Authority, in particular Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista, whom she described as being always willing to support and sustain the Authority and its staff in its initiatives.