The plan to open a bigger Home for persons suffering from ALS and similar conditions has led to criticism by experts in the disability sector, among them Professor Andrew Azzopardi and the Commissioner for Persons with Disability, Oliver Scicluna.
The sum of 920,000 euro was raised on Xarabank last week with the aim of opening another Dar Bjorn with bigger dimensions than that presently in use, and this in order to take in more patients presently still on the waiting list.
Despite this, however, in an opinion on The Malta Independent, the Dean of the Faculty for the Wellbeing of Society at the University of Malta, Professor Andrew Azzopardi, has criticised the plan for a big Home.
Professor Azzopardi has stated that present ongoing efforts are all for eliminating the model of institutions for disabled persons, and for aiming instead at small homes within the community. Professor Azzopardi adds that for this reason, these plans regress on the dignity of disabled persons, further stating that before these plans are implemented, the Commission for Persons with a Disability should be consulted.
This criticism has, however, been taken badly by Bjorn Formosa, who has referred to Professor Azzopardi as a “social media hater,” adding that what counts is not the length of time Azzopardi has been involved in this sector, but rather, what he has managed to achieve during this period. Bjorn Formosa added that the number of beds quoted by Azzopardi is not correct, but did not specify the number of beds being planned.
TVM contacted the Commissioner for Disabled Persons, Oliver Scicluna, who stated that he had personally visited Dar Bjorn, and believes much good is being done. Scicluna reiterated, however, that to date the KNPD has not been consulted regarding plans for a new Dar Bjorn, and therefore has no precise information about its dimensions.
Scicluna added that if the new Home is to have a greater number of beds than presently available in the existing Home, this goes against the convention for the rights of disabled persons. Scicluna further stated that his position as Commissioner would not be tenable if he goes against these principles, which have been drawn up by disabled persons themslves.
Jinġabru fuq €920,000 biex tinfetaħ it-tieni Dar Bjorn