THE Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) at present sends patients either to Spain or to the UK for chemotherapy at significant cost, and in either situation there is often great discomfort as well as difficulties for relatives accompanying them. This particularly applies to travel directly after the administration of the strong drugs used in chemotherapy.
As part of its ongoing commitment to improvements in the health service, and after listening to the concerns of patients, the GHA will soon be providing a chemotherapy service in Gibraltar. A chemotherapy suite with up to four treatment points will be constructed within St Bernard’s Hospital, with works commencing within the next few weeks.
Xanit hospital will be contracted to provide the clinical input and will work in collaboration with GHA professionals. This will mean that oncologists and specialised nurses will be on site to provide the service at St Bernard’s at what will be a considerable saving.
Most importantly; from early next year patients requiring chemotherapy will be able to receive this in Gibraltar, in a purpose built suite, in the company of their relatives, without the trauma of a journey out of Gibraltar.
Minister for Health Dr John Cortes said, “This is one of the most important developments of the many that we have achieved in the past four years. It will be a dream come true for many who have had to go through this. The benefits to cancer sufferers will be tremendous. They deserve this. We will continue to work hard in bringing more positive developments as our health service continues to improve.”
St Bernard’s Hospital was originally intended as an office building but was converted in 2005 at a cost of some £60 million (€84 million) to allow the GHA to offer a modern and comfortable service to the people of Gibraltar and they are constantly trying to increase the number of services offered on site