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Costa restates policy on ‘repatriated’ medical services

Health Minister Neil Costa has reiterated the Gibraltar Government’s policy with regards to where patients are entitled to receive chemotherapy, amid claims some patients are “being forced” to undergo treatment in Gibraltar against their wishes.

This comes after Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon flagged the issue and said the policy had confused patients who were under the impression that they could choose where they receive their treatment.

In Parliament yesterday, Mr Costa said the government’s priority was “first and foremost” to provide the best possible medical treatment to patients.

“It is precisely for this reason that this Government has invested in setting up this specialist unit to provide chemotherapy to patients locally,” he said.

According to Mr Costa the unit has been “hugely popular” to the extent that the GHA is in the process of expanding the service further.

“Patients are entitled to receive the best possible care and we are proud to say that is exactly what they are getting at the Ayling-Buttigieg Chemotherapy Suite.”

In a supplementary question, Mrs Hassan Nahon said it was her understanding that existing patients have a choice as to where they undergo their chemotherapy treatment.

However, she highlighted how some constituents had approached her because they are “effectively being forced” to have their treatment in Gibraltar.

“It is causing them a lot of grief because these patients have been having their treatment somewhere else and they have developed a relationship of trust with their oncologist,” she explained.


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