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A more dignified name needed for Gozo’s male geriatric ward

On April 22, 1999, I made a number of proposals relating to the care of the elderly in a letter to the secretary of the Gozo Ministry’s Millennium Committee. One of these was to give a more dignified name to the Male Geriatric Ward and to the Female Geriatric Ward at Gozo General Hospital.

On November 26, 1999, a one-day seminar was organised in Gozo on the International Year of Older Persons where I reiterated my proposal. I was informed by the chairman of the seminar, Prof. Maurice Cauchi, there were plans to change the name of the female unit. This was done and it was renamed Residenza Sant’Anna.

However, after 11 years, the Male Geriatric Ward is still without a decent name.

At the 1999 seminar, John Baptist Pace, former medical administrator at Gozo General Hospital, said that the geriatric wards at the Gozo General Hospital are not a home but a home and nursery combined.

It must be noted that these two wards are not a residence. So the female ward can be more properly called Sant’Anna and maybe the male ward should be named San Ġwakkin to complement it.

Thus the elderly living in the male unit will have a decent address and not Male Geriatric Ward and sometimes even Taqsima Irġiel (Male Section), as if they were part of an exhibition.

Other services related to the care of the elderly that are missing at Gozo General Hospital are a rehabilitation unit where the elderly are treated after they suffer a physical disability and a section for the growing incidence of dementia.

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