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New agreement offers local patients UK organ transplants

Gibraltarian patients needing organ transplants will now be able to receive UK donations after the Gibraltar Health Authority signed an agreement with Hammersmith Hospital in London.

Until now, there has been no formal system for organ transplants in Gibraltar.

That meant patients had to relocate in order to tap into transplant mechanisms in Spain or the UK, with no formal aid from the GHA.

Organ transplants affect a relatively small number of patients, but a successful operation can be lifesaving.

Over the past couple years the GHA has been working with the Hammersmith Hospital and the agreement was finalised last June.
There are currently four people in Gibraltar awaiting kidney transplants and these patients have now been registered on the UK list thanks to the new agreement.

The GHA is now also looking into implementing an organ donation process in Gibraltar. Organs donated from Gibraltarians would be added to the UK pool.

“There was no agreement between Gibraltar and the Spanish system and there still isn’t,” said Dr Hamish Thomson, a consultant anaesthetist at the GHA.

“The patients either had to relocate to Spain or get employment in Spain to become eligible for transplantation in Spain. Several Gibraltarians had it via that mechanism.”


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