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GSD vows to restore trust in GHA

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The GSD said it would embark on a “radical and positive reorganisation” to restore faith in the GHA if elected into government at the next election.

The party was responding after a recent GBC report on a draft letter that was being considered by senior doctors to be sent to political parties expressing concerns on politicisation of the health service.

The GSD said it had not received a copy of that letter but shared the same concerns.

It said concerns about the politicisation of the health service followed the serious issues on clinical governance raised by Professor Derek Burke.

It also cited the concerns expressed by the Mental Welfare Society about the slow rollout of improvements in this area despite the Government’s “big fanfare” about its plans.

Shadow Minister for Health Elliott Phillips said: “Just after all the concerns expressed by Professor Burke we now hear of more concerns by other doctors and NGOs.”

“Our much valued and loved GHA is in crisis and it needs all of us to rally behind our health professionals who see failings compounded by a lack of strong professional leadership and significant micromanagement and interference by the ministers of this Government.”

“This must stop.”

“Today we are sending a clear and unambiguous message that a GSD Government, just as it did in 1996, will engage in a radical and positive reorganisation of our health service at the top.”

“The GSLP have forgotten where they came from- they are now well known as being the party of rich developers and socialists of convenience who control every aspect of our life.”

“We are now seeing the results of a decade of interference and mismanagement of our GHA which has led to low morale and is affecting services to patients and families.”

“We promise our people that from day one of our administration we will work to restore public confidence in our GHA which has been damaged by this Government.”

The GSD said the draft letter could only have arisen because of the perception by doctors that the Government, after 10 years in office, was interfering in areas which should be for professional managers, and insufficiently protecting the ability of the health service to independently manage the delivery of services.

The party said this was “a throwback” to criticism of how the GSLP last managed the health service before it lost the 1996 election.

The GSD said it would work to restore public confidence in our GHA.

“As we did in 1996 when we were faced with a demoralised health service in need of overhaul we will put right what has been a systemic running down of governance by introducing a proper management structure,” it said in a statement.

“Our health services represent the single most significant cost to the taxpayer.”

“Our GHA is a much loved and valued institution and there are many excellent, caring professionals who are passionate about what they do.”

“They need our support, they need leadership to put in place rigorous management and structure that allows our health professionals the space to do what they do best, namely, providing health care for the most vulnerable people in our society free of political interference.”

The GSD said that together with professionals and as it did in 1996, it would review all aspects of Gibraltar’s health services to carry out reforms needed in primary and secondary care, mental health services, domiciliary care and residential services.

The GSD would also immediately and in collaboration and consultation with all interested parties appoint a Chief Executive Officer along with a Chief Financial Officer to drive a strong management structure with a close set of eyes on procurement and efficiencies.

This, it said, would give better strategic direction to the health service.

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