The GHA has recently completed the recruitment of a number of health professionals as part of the policy to repatriate clinical services and to further improve the delivery of surgical services in Gibraltar.

Ms Christina Macano, from the specialist Breast Team at the Royal Marsden Hospital, was contracted in January 2018 by the Gibraltar Health Authority to support the expansion and development of breast surgery services. Ms Macano completed a three month Fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital, with whom she maintains an honorary contract, prior to her engagement with the GHA.

Mr Denes Kovacs has been contracted to support the visiting vascular surgery team. Straightforward vascular operations such as varicose veins will now be carried out at the hospital, meaning that patients will not need to travel abroad.

The orthopaedic team has also been bolstered by the permanent appointment of Mr Marius Negru, a dedicated upper limb specialist, and Mr George Chami, a lower limb specialist. Mr Kamil Baczynski has been appointed as an associate specialist in Orthopaedics and his main area of responsibility will be the spinal clinic and coordination of the visiting orthopaedic super-specialists in scoliosis, spinal surgery and paediatric orthopaedics. The measures taken to improve inpatient bed availability and reduction of the joint replacement waiting list has seen over four times as many knee and hip replacements performed this year than last.

Patients receiving joint replacements in the GHA will soon benefit from the new enhanced orthopaedic recovery programme. A new tier of resident anaesthetic junior doctors, 6 in total, has made it possible to operate on more urgent cases over weekends and reduce waiting times for injuries such as broken hips.

The urology surgery team has also been augmented with an associate specialist, resulting in increased numbers and types of urological surgeries carried out locally.

The GHA’s Medical Director, Dr Cassaglia said: “The Surgical and Orthopaedic Departments have undergone a total restructure with many new members of staff. We now have a group of highly skilled specialist professionals working together in the GHA to provide the highest possible standard of modern surgical care. This is only the beginning of our reforms in this area. We plan to continue to repatriate more and more services to the GHA and ensure we continue to train and develop our team of professionals to provide the latest standards of care. I would like to personally thank all those members of GHA staff who work so very hard for our patients and have helped transform the Department in such a short period of time.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, The Honourable Neil F .Costa MP said: “My Ministry and the GHA are working diligently to continue the policy of repatriating as many medical services as possible to enable members of our community to receive first class medical treatment at home. We have also achieved notable advances in the quality of the medical care provided by recruiting leading international clinicians to the GHA. Sustained progress across all areas of medical services delivered to the community remains a core policy of my Ministry. I am also delighted to note that our bed management strategy and vigorous drive to reduce waiting lists for joint replacements has been extremely successful, quadrupling the number of operations carried out since last year.