The Gibraltar Health Authority have announced that it has entered into a contractual agreement with Clínica Universidad de Navarra, a Spanish private healthcare provider with tertiary centres in Madrid and Pamplona.
The system for referring patients to these centres in Madrid and Pamplona will remain as it is at present. This means that the GHA will continue to use, as its primary referral route, its well-established pathways for specialist care to NHS hospitals. Clínica Universidad de Navarra, and other Spanish centres with which the GHA enters into contractual arrangements, will continue to be used, only, for more urgent care. These decisions will continue to be made by the Tertiary Referral Board on clinical grounds. GHA patients have, historically, generally been referred to Pamplona for very specific and super-specialised treatments, which are not available in other tertiary referral centres in Spain. GHA patients have also attended Clínica Universidad de Navarra to enrol in specialised clinical trials, which were not available in other tertiary referral centres. The referrals to Clínica Universidad de Navarra have to date, been ‘ad-hoc’ and not part of an agreement. Today’s announcement means that patients who are referred to Pamplona will now be covered by a robust, contractual agreement.
Since it was founded in 1962, Clínica Universidad de Navarra’s ethos is to provide the latest in modern health care, with a human touch, offering patients and their loved ones the best medical treatment possible. The teaching hospital consider clinical research to be one of their main strategic principles, housing some of the most advanced technologies in modern medicine.
The group’s Clinic in Pamplona, which contains 250 beds and 15 operating theatres, boasts 50 medical departments and 10 specialised areas. The Clinic has received a satisfaction level of 95%, 10 percent above the average amongst Spanish hospitals surveyed. In February 2014, it became the first centre in Spain to gain accreditation from the Joint Commission International for University Hospitals. More recently, the group opened a Clinic in Madrid, located in the new urban campus of the University of Navarra, which pride themselves in reinvesting all profits back into medical care and research.
The GHA’s Medical Director, Dr Daniel Cassaglia said: “As part of improvements in Clinical Governance, the GHA has been working in collaboration with our partner hospitals in Spain to ensure our sponsored patients receive the highest standard of care possible. Central to this process, has been entering into contractual agreements with Spanish hospitals and clinics, to include quality standards of medical care.”
Roberto Lapieza, Corporate Commercial Director for Clínica Universidad de Navarra, added: “The Clínica Universidad de Navarra is deeply pleased with GHA’s agreement, as a result of the historical relationship between both institutions. We are honoured to be a GHA provider and hope it is going to be a fruitful engagement that benefits the inhabitants of Gibraltar, who have at their disposal our facilities, technology and professionals.”
Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP spoke following the signing of the new agreement: “It gives me great pleasure to announce our agreement with Clínica Universidad de Navarra. A great deal of work by my excellent professionals at the GHA and my Ministry has been conducted prior to this agreement, to ensure that we engage a provider that will offer our patients the very best medical treatments. We consider of utmost importance that any tertiary centres to which we refer our patients, share the GHA’s principles and standards, in providing medical treatment in a caring, compassionate and safe manner. The group is highly renowned in Spain for offering the latest innovative treatments. The proximity of their clinic in Madrid, also eases travelling arrangements for our patients, their families and loved ones. I wish to thank Dr Cassaglia, my Medical Director, Dr Hamish Thomson, my Clinical Director of Anaesthetics and the Intensive Care Unit, and our fantastic team of professionals for their efforts and diligence in helping to secure this important and hugely significant contract. I hope to make a statement on a separate contract with a different tertiary group in the next few weeks.”