The Gibraltar Health Authority has announced that is has recruited the services of three, new full-time Consultant Gynaecologists, over the past twelve months.

The team now comprises three full-time and one part-time Gynaecologist. All three are experienced senior consultants from the UK National Health Service, each with more than 20 years of service. Their general gynaecology expertise and special interests within the specialty complement each other, providing a comprehensive and cohesive service for the women of Gibraltar.

Mr Mohamed Matar FRCOG (Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists) commenced duties on 01/02/2018. Mr Matar is a generalist obstetrician and gynaecologist with special interests in Urogynaecology, gynaecological ultrasound and pelvic floor surgery. Mr Matar has medical management experience as a clinical director within the NHS and is currently the clinical lead for Gynaecology at the GHA.

Mr Mamdouh Guirguis FRCOG commenced duties on 01/04/2018. Mr Guirguis is a generalist obstetrician and gynaecologist with special interests in colposcopy, gynaecological ultrasound and early pregnancy problems. Mr Guirguis has been actively involved in teaching and training within the NHS and is currently leading the cancer services for the department.

Mrs Chandrika Balachandar FRCOG commenced duties on 03/09/2018. Mrs Balachandar is a general obstetrician and gynaecologist with special interests in colposcopy, gynaecological ultrasound, menopausal disorders, high risk obstetrics and education. Mrs Balachandar is also the Chair of one of the examination committees at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and is actively involved with the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists educational programmes. Mrs Balachandar is currently the lead for obstetric services for the GHA.

The service is well organised with daily clinics providing a coordinated service for the women of Gibraltar. There have been no clinic cancellations in the last 8 months, and the waiting list for the clinics has been brought down from 12 months to less than 6 weeks. There are dedicated clinic slots for early pregnancy problems on a daily basis, and urgent referrals are seen within 2 weeks. All clinics run to full capacity and are supported by excellent nursing staff. Further, there are dedicated antenatal clinics every week, streamlined with midwifery and ultrasound support. The dedicated weekly full day gynaecology operating theatre session runs to full capacity, along with fortnightly day case theatre lists.

Further still, the consultants provide direct on-call and emergency cover 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

With support from the new Director of Public Health, Dr Sohail Bhatti and Cancer services co-ordinator, Ms Isobel Ellul, the team have already incorporated quality improvement in cervical cancer screening and colposcopy by organising a multidisciplinary Cervical Cancer Screening Steering Group (CCSSG) to streamline and improve cervical cancer screening and colposcopy services. Further quality improvements are planned for 2019 through introducing multi-disciplinary team training within maternity to improve patient safety.

Medical Director Dr Daniel Cassaglia said, “The GHA Gynaecology service has received a revamp with the addition of our three new highly respected and established consultants with an exceptional clinical background and track record in medical education and training with the UK Royal College. Together with our part time consultant, Mrs Anna Cerne, they are providing a prompt and very high quality service.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP added: “Gynaecology is a vital area in healthcare, and one which helps safeguard the health of women of all ages in our community. It is important that we continue to do our utmost in maintaining the highest of standards in the provision of Gynaecology services. I am, therefore, extremely pleased that the appointments of these three highly qualified and experienced consultants have already served to ensure that we continue to offer our community excellent medical services. I would like to wholeheartedly welcome Mrs Balachandar, Mr Guirguis and Mr Matar to the GHA, and wish them the very best in their endeavours.