Updated | Mt Carmel abuse allegations reported to Commissioner for Mental Health

Nurses’ union boss Paul Pace claims children exposed to sexual abuse in mental health hospital “due to lack of resources”

MUMN secretary-general Paul Pace
MUMN secretary-general Paul Pace

Updated with ministry statement at 4:10pm

The health ministry has reported allegations by nurses' union MUMN that minors in Mount Carmel hospital are being exposed to abuse by adults, to the Commissioner for Mental Health.

The ministry said in a statement that the Commissioner will be investigating the allegations and make Mt Carmel management take the necessary and appropriate steps so as to safeguard minors' health and safety.

Nurses' union boss Paul Pace has alleged that Mount Carmel Hospital is the site of sexual and physical abuse, because children are being placed with adults in some wards and being exposed to sexual abuse "and even to physical violence." 

"The situation in the wards in Mt Carmel hospital cannot remain hidden from the media and the general public," Pace said.

"What angers MUMN is seeing the current health minister more concerned with patients' profiling exercises, proposing extravagant projects such as the 'planning' of the construction of a new mental hospital."

Pace accused minister Godfrey Farrugia of being "in total denial" about the current  situation in Mount Carmel, adding that drug addicts, children and patients suffering  from various mental diseases were "literally being nursed all together. Not to mention the huge shortage of beds for drugs addicts in Mt Carmel Hospital."

"It would be better for the current minister to follow in the footsteps of his colleague Manuel Mallia (home affairs minister) and start refurbishing and adding new wings in Mt Carmel Hospital," Pace said, saying the new wards had been halted under the new Labour administration due to a lack of finances. "So on one hand the health minister has no money for refurbishment of Mt Carmel Hospital, then on the other hand intends to build a new hospital."

Pace said his union would start issuing regular statements to the press on safety concerns pertaining to nurses and patients. "It is a great pity that the health minister did not set up his office in Mt Carmel Hospital as he had done in Mater Dei Hospital."

The chair of pediatrics has already discussed a national health strategy for children and adolescents, for the provision of emergency facilities, primary care outreach centres, and children and adolescents with challenging behaviorr.

Four experts from the health, education, and family ministries will be drawing up a 'holistic approach' on children and adolescents with challenging behaviour, the health ministry said. 

Children and adolescents with challenging behaviour are cared for at the facilities of the Child Development Assistance Unit (CDAU) and the Young People's Unit (YPU) - the latter is where children and adolescents are kept under a care order.

"The minister for health has already met personally these children and adolescents and their healthcare multidisciplinary team professionals, on two separate occasions in these last two months.

"The ministry has embarked on a project headed by Prof. Angela Abela, head of the department of family studies at the University of Malta, on a proposed project which will be submitted for EU funding and which will see the construction of new adequate facilities for these specific niche of healthcare.

"This will ensure that the children and adolescents will not be stigmatised by having a premises at Mount Carmel Hospital, and will further strengthen to maximise the benefits and wellbeing of these individuals, by ensuring that they are given the best therapy possible for a better quality of life."

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Dear lostforwords for yor info the nrses is working hard don t judge if you don t work there .There working very hard with very limi rec thanks thormy well said he did nothing when the pn in gov nothing
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Dear lostforwords for yor info the nrses is working hard don t judge if you don t work there .There working very hard with very limi rec thanks
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And where are the nurses when these children are being abused, may I ask. Nurses should be supervising patients all the time.
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Luke Camilleri
Xi jrid Paul Pace?
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If these things have been going on for quite some time than shame on you Mr Pace for not exposing them to the authorities before, if these horrible things, quite by chance have started to happen just 5months ago, then Mr Minister you are very much in time to nip it at the bud. Otherwise shame on you, if the only action we can come up with is more reports by 'experts'
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What is happening in this country? How is it possible that in these 5 months there is sexual abuse on childred at MCH? Can anyone please let us know if this phenomena started to show in the past 5 months. Or was it pushed under the carpet under the previous administration. We need to know if anyone wants to be credible. Thank you.
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Its a good thing that he has brought to the attention these crimes. But he should also explain, the way nurses are ordered to work. There are PLENTY of beds at Materdei, its how many patients nurses are ordered to cater for the real problem !!
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Bongu stenbaht issa Sur Pace !!? Dawn l-affarijiet issa saru jigru ? Issa il pazjenti qedin imhaltin ? Ma inix qed nighd li jekk qed isiru l-affarijiet bhal dawn huwa sew u ghandhom jigu irrangati immedjatament imma li tghid li il ministru mhu jaghmel xejn nahseb li ried tkun ftiet bombastiku u trid taghmel hoss. Nahseb li ghandek mezzi ohrajn aktar diretti fejn tmur u taghmel il punt tieghek .
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jekk s sur Pace ilu jaf b din s sitwazzjoni naqas bil kbir ma tkelliemx qabe;
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Good thing that the union has spoken out but.it has to be a new phenomenon since we didn't hear about these happenings prior tp March 2013.
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Good thing that the union has spoken out but.it has to be a new phenomenon since we didn't hear about these happenings prior tp March 2013.