The Gibraltar Health Authority has said it has been undertaking a major recruitment drive in order to implement its repatriation policy, significantly increasing the number of doctors within the GHA at all levels and specialities. This has given medical services increased resilience and allowed the GHA to expand the range of services available.

The GHA has recruited new Consultants into existing and additional posts, bringing fresh ideas and new expertise. The GHA currently employs 10 additional Consultants, 4 additional Associate Specialists and 6 new Clinical Fellows. This has resulted in substantial reductions in surgical waiting lists, as well as an increase in the number of major surgeries performed requiring hospital admission, from 202 in 2016, to 506 in 2018.

These welcome increases, in highly competent and skilled medical staff, has led to the increase of 4 General Surgical Consultants in 2017, who have brought the latest keyhole surgery techniques to Gibraltar, further expanding the breadth of expertise to include breast, upper-gastrointestinal (GI), bariatric and colorectal surgery.

The increased availability of beds at St Bernard’s Hospital has meant more complex inpatient elective surgeries are being performed. As a result, turnover through the surgical wards has increased, requiring an increased complement of junior surgical doctors from 6 to 7, in 2018, to ensure more doctors are available to manage the day-to-day workload on the wards.

Medical Director, Dr Daniel Cassaglia said: “The GHA is very grateful to Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar for the significant investment in expanding the provision of local medical services and repatriating of services. This will no doubt improve patient care and allow many more patients to be treated closer to home”.

Minister for Health, Care and Justice, the Honourable Neil F. Costa MP, commented: “The substantial enhancement of medical services that we provide to our community, and the additional resources in which we have invested, is testament to Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar’s unwavering commitment to the continued development of our health services. My Ministry and the GHA frequently discuss areas that require attention and services where we can further improve. Whilst the work to improve and to add resilience to the various strands of our health services never ceases, I am pleased with the progress we have made, among other things, in recruitment and in the expansion of patient services. The GHA belongs to all us and must deliver optimum health care to our entire community.