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Govt must restore trust in GHA, GSD says

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

The GSD has called on the Gibraltar Government to take steps to restore public confidence in the delivery of healthcare.

In a statement, the party said complaints by service users were at an all-time high, while morale within the service was at an all-time low, adding: “This toxic combination cannot be left untreated.”

The GSD was reacting after dentists joined industrial action by maternity and nursing staff over what Unite the Union has described as “insecure employment” at the GHA.

The opposition party said the dispute pointed to “a fundamental breakdown” in the relationship between the Government and healthcare professionals.

“The Government’s relationship with our health workers is in decline,” said Elliott Phillips, the Shadow Minister for Health.

“Our health care professionals are in the firing line and the integrity of this much-loved institution has been significantly impaired.”

“It is clear from the statements of health care workers that the delivery of health care in our community is being compromised and that public confidence has been considerably eroded.”

“This must change now.”

“Covid is a poor excuse for years of mismanagement by the Government and a complete lack of independent strategic leadership.”

The GSD said the situation at the GHA reflected “very badly’ on the Government’s recently announced plans to “restart and restore” health services through a major shake-up.

It said the Government had been plagued by many problems within the structure, most of which were caused by “mismanagement of the service” and a “failure to understand and appropriately manage” expectations.

The GSD said the Government could not use Covid-19 as an excuse, adding that the virus is likely here for “the long haul” and that the Government must work to understand the issues at the GHA and address them.

It noted that hospitalisations due to Covid were very low and that GHA users expected services to continue with as much normality as possible and within the guidelines set by Public Health.

“From allegations of preventable deaths, clinicians publicly announcing that they cannot deliver care, industrial action by health professionals [and] cancellations of appointments, right down to the very basic current inability of our children to see our dentists, the Government must stop ignoring the concerns of the vast majority of our community and our health professionals who are calling for significant improvements to the delivery of care in Gibraltar,” Mr Phillips said.

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