The Malta Independent 20 November 2018, Tuesday

Planning Authority approves application for Paola regional health hub

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 28 September 2017, 11:54 Last update: about 2 years ago

The Planning Authority today approved the planning application to construct a regional health hub in Paola.

The application was for full development permission proposes the demolition of the existing Bocci club and public garden, and the construction of a regional health hub which will include operating theatres, consultation and treatment rooms, a pharmacy and physiotherapy clinics. The proposal also involves the conversion of the northern and eastern parts of the derelict Pace Grasso football ground into temporary parking spaces. The proposed building will consist of a basement level and seven above ground levels.

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The site is located in Triq Karl Chircop, corner with Triq is-Sorijiet and Triq id-Durrajsa, Paola.

The Case Officer’s report read that it is the government’s aim to strengthen the primary health care services, together with community based services and continuity of care after discharge from hospital. “Facilitating the shift of more health care services from secondary to primary health care will relieve the present overload from Mater Dei hospital.

The Paola Regional Health Hub will provide health care services to people residing in localities which form part of the Southern Harbour and South Eastern Districts in Malta. “People residing in the present Paola Health Centre catchment area will be able to access all services provided at this new hub once it is opened. While people residing in the present Cospicua Health Centre and the Kirkop Health Centre catchment areas, will be able to access speciality services including ophthalmic, dementia, minor-ops, X-rays, ultrasound, bone densitometry, echocardiography, lifestyle, sexual health, dental and ambulance services. The present Paola Health Centre catchment area includes Paola, Tarxien, Sta. Lucia, Birzebbuga, Zejtun, Marsaxlokk, Zabbar, Marsascala, Xghajra, Fgura, Gudja, Ghaxaq, Benghajsa, Hal-Far, Kalafrana, which population catchment area being approximately 128,923.”

The Case Officer’s report read that the entire football pitch behind the bocci club, the garden and bocci club itself have been designated to be redeveloped as a community centre, according to the revisions to the South Malta Local Plan dated to 2015. “It has been divided into four distinct areas: Zone A – Health, Zone B – Social services, Zone C – Commercial, Zone D – Public open space. The proposed Health Hub will be located within Zone A, whilst temporary parking will be located within Zone C, and part of another zone. The established height limitation for the area is that of four floors, as per South Malta Local Plan revisions policy.”

230 temporary parking spaces will be provided using some of the other zones, and permanent parking spots will be included once development of the other areas is approved.

In a tweet, Health Minister Chris Fearne welcome the PA's approval.

In a press statement later in the day, Health Minister Chris Fearne said that through this regional centre, all persons in the South of Malta will be able to received many health services in their own community.

The design and construction contract for the Paola hub cost €26 million, while the full Paola hub project is expected to cost €39 million, part of which was paid through EU funds.


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