The Malta Independent 25 September 2023, Monday
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Tabling of Cospicua home report: Minister awaits PQs… which have already been filed

Sabrina Zammit Friday, 9 June 2023, 12:15 Last update: about 5 months ago

Active Aging Minister Jo Etienne Abela said Friday that he is waiting for parliamentary questions to be submitted for him to table reports about structural deficiences at the Cospciua home for the elderly, which led the government to decide to evacuate the residents of the home and transfer them to other facilities.

But such a PQ has already been submitted by Nationalist Party MP Paula Mifsud Bonnici on 31 May, which the minister answered on 5 June, saying that what is discussed in Cabinet is confidential, without tablng the said reports.

Asked for a reaction to this Mifsud Bonnici said the minister should have “submitted the reports already on his own steam.”

“Should he be waiting for a PQ to be submitted to prove what he is alleging and to protect the residents?”

She added that he doesn’t even know that the request has been already made by the Opposition.

“He did not submit a single report. Irresponsibility at its best.”

Asked by The Malta Independent on Friday, Abela said that it is normal practice that such reports are tabled when a PQ is asked. But a PQ, asking specifically for the reports to be submitted to Parliament as to why a decision was taken to pull down the home, has already been asked, and the minister has replied to it.

Earlier, Abela said that there is no need for an inquiry on the Cospicua home.

Residents of the home will be transferred to other government facilities in the coming days. The Ministry for Active Ageing said the residence requires work to ensure it “conforms to the high standards and levels of dignity that the government requires of homes for the elderly”.

The residents at the home have protested against the move, with the Nationalist Party also calling for an inquiry into why the home, built in 1997, needs to be evacuated.

But the minister told journalists on Friday that there is no need for such an inquiry. “We have concerns about health and safety” issues at the home, he said.

The minister said that there are reports that indicate “serious doubts” on the structure of the home.

As minister responsible, he said that he cannot ignore such reports. “When I see such results, I do not need an inquiry.”

He said that the final decision was taken by his ministry together with the AACC (Active Ageing and community care directorate), as “we think that is the best decision".

He said that as he has already explained in parliament, this is also the main reason why the government received the consensus to go ahead with the renovations.

Abela said that he is going to assume all responsibility in regard to what happens in the home till the end of June of this year.

Abela was asked whether he was refusing to hold an inquiry so as not to expose any possible shortcomings of the Alfred Sant administration which had built the Cospicua Home back in 1997.

He said that since no one has ever gotten hurt till now in the home and the government has already taken a decision for the relocation of the residents “there is no need for an inquiry".

The minister was speaking to journalists after addressing a conference regarding the launch of the Directorate of Dementia Care

Abela said that the government is committed to face the challenges this illness comes with. He said that the directorate will be in direct communications with the affected stakeholders, dementia sufferers and their carers.

He said that this new institution will be giving every possible education needed for individuals helping dementia patients, so that they can give them the best care possible.


He said that the country currently has a total of 7,000 persons living with dementia.

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