Malta’s only psychiatric institution, Mount Carmel, has received some major criticism from its former Chief of Operations Officer Paul Dalli who, in a parliamentary committee meeting, opened up about some of the terrible conditions patients were expected to live with, despite warnings by staff and medical experts.
Dangerous flooring, lack of privacy and improper heating were just a few of the issues brought up
Dalli explained how, in the middle of winter, patients were subjected to freezing cold showers while avoiding the cracked and damaged tiles that could prove harmful, while also experiencing a lack of privacy in the way they were required to wash next to each other in the nude
The reason behind the shower situation was chopped up to a constant issue with their water boilers that left eight wards without access to hot water. Action against this moved at an incredibly slow pace, despite warnings by medical professionals who informed the staff that certain medication may not be as effective if the patients body temperature drops too low.
This statement supports a claim made a couple of years ago where a visitor detailed some of the terrible conditions they observed, however, the person expressed the lack of fans and “indescribable heat” over frigid winter conditions.
Paul Dalli pointed out one of the measures he had to take to try and help the patients after a controversial deal with an employment agency, which saw Mount Carmel hire a number of “technical workers” over clerical staff. He did this to try and help the patient’s situation as much as possible.
“We did not have enough nurses, we did not even have enough security – we had people escaping from the mental hospital” he explained, “I just could not take it any longer.” Dalli said about the state of the hospital.