Mount Carmel environment ‘far from desirable’, Mental Health Commissioner says

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Mount Carmel hospital environment is far from desirable, the Commissioner for Mental Health said after a patient shared her experience on the media.

In a statement on Saturday, Commissioner John Cachia underlined that there are a number of practices which are still occurring at Mount Carmel Hospital which fall short of respecting patient rights and dignity.

He added that despite having repeatedly asked Mount Carmel Hospital authorities to upgrade their protocols in matters such as possession of communication devices and searches for safeguarding patient safety, he received no replies.

While over the past months there have been several changes with regards to wards and team practices, however it is the responsibility of Mount Carmel Hospital Management to explain this and outline their plans to upgrade practices, facilities and services.

“Patients with mental health problems deserve to receive the care they require in the best and most dignified way. A number of reforms in the mental health sector have been put on a pause for far too long,” the commissioner said.

He urged the health authorities to realign the work agreed upon in the Mental Health Strategy and proceed with implementation as he acknowledged that pandemic made matters more complicated. The commissioner underlined that however the care needs of persons with mental health challenges cannot be put on hold indefinitely.