Following the outcome of the referendum on abortion, and in anticipation of the commencement of an abortion service at the GHA, the GHA has arranged for training to be delivered to clinical professionals in the GHA.
On Friday 9 July two CPD sessions were delivered at the GHA’s School of Health Studies to the healthcare providers who will be providing the service and those who may be involved in referrals to and from the service who attended both in person and virtually.
The sessions are based on the fact that the GHA Department of Gynaecology at St Bernard’s Hospital will be the sole provider of this service in Gibraltar and focus on the aim to provide a choice of abortion methods, which are timely and safe depending on the personal health and circumstances of the individual woman and at all times within the legislative framework enacted in Gibraltar.
The morning session was opened by the Minister for Health. The CPD sessions were delivered by Mrs Chandrika Balachandar, GHA Consultant Gynaecologist who is the lead for the service. During the sessions Mrs Balachandar shared detailed information about the service framework and evidence-based local guidelines that have been adapted from external sources such as WHO, RCOG, BPAS and NICE to enable them to guide the people of Gibraltar about the service.
The Government has said it expects to commence the relevant parts of the Crimes (Amendment) Act later this week.
Mrs Chandrika Balachandar, Consultant Gynaecologist, said: “The Gynaecology Department is humbled to have been given the responsibility to lead on this important and sensitive issue and to be trusted to be the sole provider of abortion services in Gibraltar. The service, once it commences, will give a practical application to the result of the abortion referendum allowing, in particular, for a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy up to twelve weeks gestation. After 12 weeks, a woman can only have an abortion in certain limited circumstances. Outside of an emergency situation, two doctors will have to agree in good faith that the abortion is necessary. It must be noted that the earlier an abortion is carried out, the simpler and safer it will be and that getting support early on will also give the woman more time to make a decision if one is unsure whether to have an abortion or not once all the options are explained to her.”
The Minister for Health, the Hon. Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “I wanted the GHA to be fully equipped and fully understanding of the processes in place ahead of the commencement of the legislation. I am grateful to Mrs Balachandar and her team who have tirelessly worked with the Medical Director, Director of Nursing, other health professionals and my legal team to ensure that the GHA is able to offer a safe and legal service to Gibraltar.”