The Gibraltar Health Authority has announced that it will be entering into a long-term partnership, as part of a key project, to update and maintain all radiology and imaging equipment within the GHA.
The Managed Equipment Service (MES) has been a long-standing and extremely complex initiative involving invaluable input from clinicians and advisors from Government and Central Procurement. The formal tender process has now been completed and the successful bidder, Phillips, has been informed.
The MES project means that all imaging equipment, with the exception of the existing CT scanner, will now come under a maintenance and replacement programme from Phillips. The existing CT scanner will remain in situ and a new CT scanner will be purchased and sited within the hospital as part of the agreement. As such, all equipment will be kept at the most efficient operating level and will be replaced in a managed and predictable manner, often in seven-year cycles, as part of the upkeep of each asset. If at any point a piece of equipment fails, it will be repaired or replaced as quickly and efficiently as possible as part of the service agreement.
The MES will also encompass another hugely significant and positive benefit to the GHA in the form of a Cardiac Catheterisation Suite, with the recruitment of a Cardiac Catheter Laboratory team. This will be an in-house service that will allow the GHA to manage acute cardiac diseases, such as heart attacks, by imaging the arteries in the heart and placing stents or unblocking coronary arteries when necessary. At present, this service is delivered in Spain by a private provider, which means that any patient requiring this type of investigation or treatment must travel to Spain with the possibility of a delay in receiving the treatment. The sooner the heart is investigated and any blockage in a coronary artery is treated, the less damage to the heart muscle and the better the patient’s overall outlook. Building of the Cardiac Catheterisation Suite will commence as soon as possible and is forecast to take approximately nine to twelve months to prepare the area of the hospital, to build and install the specialised equipment and bring the service up to full operating capacity. The Suite will be run by the Cardiology Unit as a specialised service, headed by Consultant Interventional Cardiologist Dr Roger Moore.
GHA Director General, Dr Patrick Geoghegan OBE, said: ‘This has been an enormously complex project, but represents most importantly a very positive move forward in the care of all patients requiring any form of imaging such as x-ray, ultrasound or CT scanning. The jewel in this crown must be the Cardiac Catheterisation Suite, which will create a gold standard cardiology service here in Gibraltar without the need to send patients across the border. I would really like to thank all those involved for their time and expertise in bringing this project to fruition; from the Radiology and Cardiology teams, to our Finance Department and the Financial Secretary’s office, and to the Accountant General, without whose wise and pragmatic support we would not have been able to progress such a key initiative.’
The Minister for Health, the Hon Albert Isola, said: ‘The MES project represents a significant investment in localising health services in order to ensure the best and most efficient possible treatment for patients in Gibraltar. It is a testament to the long-term vision for the improvement of the GHA, with a direct impact on the quality of care and outcomes for patients.’