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Govt failing to meet primary care demands, GSD says

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government’s primary care service is failing to meet public demand, the GSD said yesterday, adding that patients are continuing to face difficulties in securing GP appointments.
The GSD said that despite Government confirming a return to face-to-face appointments with GPs, there remains a serious deficit in the provision of this service to the public.
They added that the Opposition receives daily reports from concerned members of the public who are still facing difficulties in securing appointments to access GPs or in receiving important follow-ups, or indeed, the results of medical tests.
The concerns included the difficulty in booking an appointment via the telephone and the lack of a clear roadmap to restore the health service.
“The Government announced with much fanfare the return of face-to-face appointments at primary level but the reality on the ground is very different,” Shadow Minister for Health Elliott Phillips said.
“Many people cannot access appointments both routine and primary, which left unresolved, is likely to severely impact on delays to treatment and diagnosis.”
Mr Phillip recognised that Covid-19 has been a challenge for the local community, which although now being overcome by the vaccination effort with zero resident cases has seen the Government set to allow tourists this summer.
This, he said, was announced by the Chief Minister on Sky News with an open invitation for all UK tourists to make Gibraltar their number one choice for a holiday this year.
But the message conveyed, Mr Phillips said, sits at odds with the state of primary care.
“The rosy picture painted by the Government sits at odds with a health service that continues to struggle in meeting the daily demands of members of our community who simply need to access medical advice and treatment and even worse just get through on the telephone lines,” Mr Phillips said.
“At the end of the first lockdown there was a plan to restore the health service to as near as business as usual as possible.”
“However, since the second lockdown and our successful vaccination programme there has been no publicly issued information by the Government on how they intend to restore our health service so that everyone has the confidence that the Government has a handle on the delivery of first rate primary care.”
“The failure of the Government to restore our health service and meet demands of the public requires a full and comprehensive explanation and we call on the Government to make a statement on the issue without delay.”
“Users of primary care feel frustrated and the hope and expectation that they greeted
the Government’s recent announcement has quickly turned into disappointment when they still can’t get through on the phone lines.”

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