Parts of Mount Carmel had been evacuated due to serious infrastructural problems, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne confirmed on Monday.

Mr Fearne said these parts of the hospital had been sealed off, and the remaining wards did not pose a danger to patients.

The Times of Malta reported last week how around three-quarters of the wards at Mount Carmel have condemned ceilings.

In one ward, the foundations too gave way and cracks were so wide that rats were sneaking in, according to a technical report.

The Health Minister said the government had decided to commission a study into these infrastructural problems instead of just patching them up.

He said the problems in the 150-year-old hospital had not occurred overnight. Mr Fearne said that while others had ignored these problems, the government had come up with a five-year plan to renovate the hospital.

A building outside Mount Carmel had been rented to host patients in two wards which were being refurbished.

Once these renovations were done, patients in other wards would be relocated so works could be carried out in those wards.

Mr Fearne said €5.6 million had been dedicated to the renovations this year alone.

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