€8 million from NDSF for Hospice Malta project to offer palliative care at Santa Venera

Hospice Malta is a step nearer to having a state-of-the-art facility that will offer a new service of its kind to cancer patients who can no longer reside in their home and cannot be offered any further hospital cure.

This follows an agreement signed with the Government which will donate €8 million from the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) that is financed by the Citizenship Investment Programme.

The Hospice Malta Chairperson, Bernardette Bonnici Kind, said that as a result of this financial support, that which was formerly the Adelaide Cini Institute will be transformed into the St Michael Hospice that will increase palliative care in the community.

The facility will have 16 rooms for patients needing palliative care as their life is drawing to an end. She said this project is progressing well and should be opened in the coming year.

She said this is a generous and needed donation to finance this ambitious project. She also praised and thanked the Church for making the building available as well as various entities and individuals which donated to the project.

Chairperson Bonnici Kind said this project will become a reality through the work performed by the Prime Minister for this donation to be forward to Hospice Malta from the finances of the NDSF.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that through this agreement the Government is setting forth a process where NGOs like Hospice Malta can turn to the Government for support. This donation is underling the Government’s support to Hospice which annually helps 1,300 families in need of palliative care.

He said from this fund, €8 million is being forwarded and is crucial for this project to materialise and this is a Malta in which the Government believes. He said all families experience moments of difficulties and in their time of need they will find Government resources and an open door that will provide them with help.

Dr Abela said the signing of the Memorandum of Understand ties in with a series of other social projects made possible through the help of the NDSF, including Puttinu Cares which received an investment of €5 million and the €60 million spent on social accommodation.

The Prime Minister ended by saying this is a classic and strong example of how the Government is working with NGOs and he urged these to be creative and urged them to continue forwarding their ideas to achieve an agreement that was signed and sealed today.

Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat said the agreement is a clear indication that created benefits are reaching the community.

He said that if the NDSF did not have this sum of €8 million to donate, Hospice Malta would not have been able to finalise this project. He said that such an agreement goes beyond money but recognises that people deserve all the needs and resources as well as psychological and spiritual attention in their difficult moments on a 24 hour basis in an atmosphere of calmness and respect to human life.

Muscat ended by saying that this project encapsules the vision of the NDSF will attracting further direct foreign investment while also assisting national projects to help the community.

The agreement was signed on behalf of Hospice Malta by Chairperson Bernardette Bonnici Kind, the Executive Head Dr Oriella De Giovanna u and the Executive Head of the NDSF Dr Raymond Ellul.