The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Government plans to close Mount Carmel hospital, move acute mental health to Mater Dei

Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 12:17 Last update: about 11 days ago

Health Minister Jo Etienne Abela has said that government is planning to phase out the mental health services offered in Mount Carmel hospital, to be moved to Mater Dei hospital and provided in the same place physical health services are provided.

Abela told Parliament on Tuesday that the 19th century building is not fit for purpose, and it cannot fulfil the needs of the 21st century, as the mental health hospital has become stigmatised.

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He said that the country needs to move away from the building, as recommended by experts on the matter.

Abela said that every government in history has some blame to bear for not investing in the mental health infrastructure, which has led to this reality. He continued that it is time to go forward, and cease blaming the other side of the House.

The recommendations from a committee of experts have recommended that mental health services should be provided in the same place where physical health services are provided, where Abela said that acute psychiatric health services need to be moved to a special unit within Mater Dei, so that no distinctions are made.

Abela said that another recommendation was that the environment where mental health related services are provided should be conducive to well-being.

While it is logistically impossible to shut down Mount Carmel immediately, Abela said that plans to move psychiatric care to Mater Dei have already begun, and an acute mental health ward at the general hospital will be opened in the coming months.

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