Signing of agreement between the Archdiocese of Malta and the Malta Hospice Movement
The Archdiocese of Malta and The Malta Hospice Movement signed an official agreement for the establishment of St Michael’s Hospice, the first state-of-the-art complex in Malta dedicated entirely to providing comprehensive palliative care.
During the Year of Mercy, in July 2016, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna had announced that the Church would identify the ideal premises for the setting up of a complex that, in collaboration with a registered organisation in the field, would provide palliative care services for patients with serious medical conditions. The Archbishop had said that this project would be the Church’s response to tangibly support patients requiring palliative care during these challenging times.
As a result of the agreement which was signed today at the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana, presided over by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, the Archdiocese will be making available to the Hospice Movement the land and buildings formerly known as Adelaide Cini Institute in St Venera, for a period of 50 years. The value of land and existing property covering a floor area of 9,000 square metres over two floors and another 6,800 sqaure metres of outside garden area, equivalent in total to three football grounds, is estimated at around €8 million.
The agreement was signed by Mr Michael Pace Ross (Administrative Secretary) on behalf of the Archbishop of Malta, and by Ms Maria Gatt (Chairperson) and Dr Vincent Zammit (Secretary) on behalf of the Malta Hospice Movement.
The Malta Hospice Movement is committing itself to renovate the church property in St Venera, allowing Hospice Malta to evolve into St Michael’s Hospice. Hospice is also committed to maintain and embellish the green area surrounding the building, that will provide patients the necessary outdoor space whilst receiving treatment.
This will be Malta’s only first hospice facility that will significantly enhance the present palliative care services to patients in their homes and communities, and allow for an in-patient unit to cater for patients requiring pain and symptom management, for those requiring periods of respite care and those requiring dignified end of life care.
Day therapy services and clinics, as well as educational training courses for the continuous professional development of Hospice staff and other palliative care specialists will also be delivered within the Sr Michael’s Hospice complex in Santa Venera.
The necessary infrastructural works on the existing Church premises are scheduled to commence once the necessary permits are obtained from the Planning Authority. The works will be carried out over a 3-year period during which the Hospice Movement will raise funds for the setting up and running of this project. The first patients are expected in 2021 following extensive internal refurbishment.
Founded in 1989, Hospice Malta’s primary role is to provide and promote palliative care services to patients suffering from cancer, motor-neuron disease, and end-of-life cardiac, respiratory, renal and liver diseases. Hospice Malta offers its services through a professional multidisciplinary team of specialists. The patient and family centred palliative care offered targets the relief of pain and other physical symptoms as well as emotional, psycho-social and spiritual issues. Bereavement support is also an integral part of the services provided.
Hospice Malta, a registered NGO with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, offers all of its services free of charge to patients in Malta and Gozo.
Photos: Curia Communications Office - Ian Noel Pace