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GHA weighs risks for patients awaiting surgery

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Health Authority will review the risks for patients awaiting routine surgery daily and if needed will cancel due to Covid-19 concerns.

St Bernard’s Hospital Operational Risk Status remains at Amber, but planned surgeries are now being reviewed daily.

Gold Command of the GHA met recently to review the escalation position of the GHA, particularly the risk posed to patients undergoing surgery due to current cases of Covid-19 within the community and at St Bernard’s Hospital. 

Gold Command concluded that patients must not be placed at avoidable risk by coming into the hospital and having routine surgery, if the risk of catching Covid-19 and harm being caused outweighs the benefit of having the surgery. 

For patients awaiting routine surgery and interventions the GHA will review surgical lists at the start of each day. 

If possible, routine surgeries will go ahead, but it is possible that if the risk to a patient is considered high, that the patient will be called to cancel the surgery and offer a new date. 

“The GHA would like to take this opportunity to apologise in advance to anyone who has their surgery cancelled at short notice, but we must ensure the safety of anyone who comes to the hospital to the best of our ability at all times,” the Government said.

“There is no need for patients to enquire as the GHA will contact those that are affected, the GHA would therefore kindly ask that patients not to call the GHA to ask about their own surgery; we will call those affected by any cancellation.”

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