PN will close down Mount Carmel as part of mental health reform strategy

A Nationalist government will close Mount Carmel and create a specialised hospital integrated with Mater Dei as it unveils proposals for mental health reform

PN health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri (right) and candidate Paula Mifsud Bonnici
PN health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri (right) and candidate Paula Mifsud Bonnici

Mount Carmel Hospital will stop functioning as a mental health institute and transform into a public open space if the Nationalist Party is in government.

The proposal is one of nine measures unveiled today by health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri and election candidates Paula Mifsud Bonnici and Julie Zahra. The proposal forms part of the party’s mental health reform strategy

Mount Carmel will be replaced by a specialised hospital integrated with Mater Dei Hospital and a network of community services offered by psychiatrists.

The PN is also proposing an emergency psychiatry team operating on a 24/7 basis and a mental health emergency observation unit.

It is proposing the development of a specific medicines formulary for mental health conditions that does not include generic medicines.

The party wants to strengthen the office of the commissioner for mental health and embark on an educational campaign to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues.

“Mental health treatment has to be rethought to improve the quality of life of people who experience these challenges, particularly patients and their families,” Spiteri said.

The PN spokespersons added mental health had to be given the same importance as other health sectors. 

“We have to remove all forms of stigma and prejudice towards people with mental health problems and work to foster a culture of respect and dignity to ensure every patient receives adequate treatment,” they said.

The PN has developed a number of clusters focussed on various issues that are drafting policy positions in preparation for the next general election. The mental health proposals follow those unveiled recently suggesting reforms to the prison system.