No plans submitted for Cospicua home as government moves to close it down

Active Ageing Minister Jo Etienne Abela is not explaining why he is insisting that the 120 residents of the Cospicua home for the elderly need to be transferred to other homes by the middle of next month when no development plans have even been submitted to the Planning Authority for the revamp and possible rebuilding of the home.

Under increasing pressure for the government’s apparently sudden decision, the minister would neither inform The Shift about whether any concrete plans were in place for the residence.

Nor would he outline when the project is expected to start and be completed or explain the urgency of the relocations when the planning process for such a development could take a significantly longer amount of time.

According to standard practice, a refurbishment such as that being contemplated requires planning permission and awarding millions of euros in tenders.

None of this, however, has happened yet.

When questioned, Abela simply suggested The Shift follows his parliamentary speech on the subject. In his address, Abela refuted rumours that the site will be given to hotel developers but did not broach other questions The Shift has raised.

Care Malta, a Vassallo Group company, has had a management contract for the residence since its opening in 1999 and it has not been renewed since 2013.

The Shift is informed that the last tender issued in 2013 for the home’s management predates the Labour government, which has consistently turned down attempts to strike a new agreement.

The government instead retained the same private management, Care Malta, and renewed the initial contract every six months in breach of public procurement rules – paying outdated rates pegged to an agreement struck with the government two decades ago. The building has in the meantime been left to deteriorate.

Sources said that while the government is currently paying premium rates of between €50 and €120 a day per bed at private residences for the elderly, the Cospicua home was being managed at a low cost and at rates established two decades ago.

The government has consistently rejected requests to publish such management contracts by citing “commercially sensitive” arrangements. Most of these “arrangements” are made through direct orders and opaque procedures.

Residents up in arms over relocations

The home’s residents, their relatives and staff are incensed over the decision that the residence will be closed down for total refurbishment by mid-June.

The home’s residents, mostly in their 80s and 90s, were told to choose an alternative home to move to next month.

The announcement that the place they called home for years will be shutting down has not gone down well with either residents or the 90 staff members, who described it as “inhumane and insensitive”.

“You cannot from one day to the other tell an 85-year-old that he will move out of what has been his home for the last 10 years in just a fortnight,” a carer who has been working there for the last 23 years said.

“Most of the elderly threw the paper away and insisted that they won’t move,” another said.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

Dan gvern li jisma min min ghandu il-habel f’idejh u il-flus fil-but, mhux mil anzjani li minghajr ma jkunu jafu innehulhom il-vot qabel l-elezjoni.
Din mi xejn biex inehhu kull tracca ta progetti li ghamel il-gvern nazzjonalista.
Li bnew in-Nazzjonalisti ma jridu ihallu xejn.

3 months ago

Has an underhand deal been stuck with AUM to compensate for not building the only open space left in Bormla ?

3 months ago

Can the government please explain what structural problems have been identified?

3 months ago
Reply to  harmonyplus

The government is running out of streets to dig up by his subcontractors. So the government is inventing work to keep his voters employed and the contractors quite.
Now the Sir Paul Boffa Hospital has been declared dangerous. My feeling is that going against the Bormla/ Isla / Birgu Labour roots, has been seen as suicidal. So Sir Paul Boffa hospital, overdue for a good refurbishing has been brought up.

Related Stories

Joseph Muscat claims no need to inform the European Commission of Electrogas’ Security of Supply Agreement
During his fourth appearance before the Public Accounts Committee,
Chamber wants budget to tackle change towards sustainable economic model
The Malta Chamber – Malta’s largest representative body of

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo