Thursday, June 30, 2005

New St Bernard’s is a testament to what Gibraltar has achieved socially and economically over the years

The new hospital has been re-dedicated to St Bernard’s Hospital. St Bernard is the patron Saint of Gibraltar.

Chief Minister Peter Caruana in his address at the official inauguration on Tuesday evening said that although there had been many suggestions to rename the new hospital the government had decided to keep the same name.

The inauguration was held in the gardens of the new St Bernard’s hospital at sunset where Health Minister Ernest Britto run through a list of thank-yous.

Guests included all those connected with the creation and workings of the new hospital – the staff, contractors, designers, suppliers etc. and all user groups, associations, and helpers, including the many tenants associations as a way of representing Gibraltar society in general.

Mr Britto also mentioned the doctors from the dialysis unit in La Linea announcing that the unit locally would be operational as from July.

He also confirmed that 100 parking spaces (on one floor) would be made available in the new residence Euro Plaza next to the hospital.

Chief Minister Peter Caruana stated the hospital which represented a huge investment for a community of almost any size, and that just 30,000 people had been able to finance this magnificent facility for themselves, was a testament to what Gibraltar had achieved socially and economically over the years.

“There must be few communities of just 30,000 people anywhere on the planet that enjoy a medical facility of this sort,” he stressed.

The old St Bernard’s, he said, had served the community very well over many years but that the community had grown out of it in its need for social care, and the staff had grown out of it in terms of their ability to work, expand comfortably and deliver health services and care, in a dedicated way to their patients and their own professional commitment.

Mr Caruana emphasised:

“This investment is not just for the patients of this community, it is also for the staff, that they should have a proper, dignified, modern, well-resourced, spacious place of work, in which they can deliver, expand and develop the service, in a way that I know that they do.

The move into this facility will trigger the crossing of a huge threshold in the quality of healthcare that this community will benefit from.”

He acknowledged the work of the Medical Review team and paid tribute to the new senior management team, and old senior management team led by Joe Catania and Ernest Lima.

The new hospital was blessed by the Bishop of Gibraltar Charles Caruana in the presence of the Iman. Bishop Caruana wrote a special ecumenical prayer for the occasion.

David McCutcheon, Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Health Authority, then declared:

“Well we are now officially opened. It is wonderful but the really hard work is still ahead of us.

We have just completed our first quarter of our new year and we are doing really quite well and we are very proud.

We are very much on the way to building the leadership capacity which the hospital needs.

We are proud of this facility and especially proud of our staff.

It is now up to management to give you the people of Gibraltar the health services you need and desire. This team that is around here today is very much up to that task.”


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