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GHA prepares to resume some routine medical services, but slowly

The Gibraltar Health Authority is planing a phased reintroduction of non-Covid clinical activity at St Bernard’s hospital as from Monday, the Acting Medical Director, Dr Krishna Rawal, confirmed on Saturday. 

The process will begin “very, very slowly”, and initial clinical services will start with the ability to turn off in 24 hours if a spike in Covid-19 occurs.

Dr Rawal said: “The GHA is considering now and planning for restarting our clinical activity and we will be working in phases here.”

Dr Rawal explained that the process will begin by telephoning patients on waiting lists, with that step having already commenced in some specialities.

“We will then make some decisions on priority,” he said, explaining that this will involve taking into consideration how long a patient has been waiting for a particular service as well as how severe their symptoms may be.

“We can then assess everybody on that waiting list to see who needs to come in first.” 

“Secondly we’re going to carry out for anybody who we do wish to bring back in to hospital particularly for an intervention whether that’s surgery or an investigation, we’re going to do some risk assessment scoring.” 

“The idea behind that being a scoring tool that we will use to make sure that we don’t invite you into the hospital and place you at an increased risk of Covid infection.”

In some cases requiring surgical intervention, the patient may be asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days prior to their surgery and patients will be swabs prior to the procedure. 

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases remained unchanged overnight at 144.

Of those, 132 have recovered and 12 remain active.