Thursday, July 14, 2005

Extend transport to all patients, says Opposition

Dialysis row

GSLP/Liberals has called on the Gibraltar Government to reconsider its “insensitive” position regarding transport facilities for dialysis patients at St Bernard’s Hospital and urged them to extend it to all persons in need of the treatment.

In a statement issued yesterday Opposition spokeswoman Mari Montegriffo accused the Government of “being penny wise and pound foolish,” by spending millions of pounds on experts and implementing cost saving measures with patients. Ms Montegriffo said:

“We questioned Government in the House of Assembly, regarding their policy in relation to transporting dialysis patients to and from St Bernard’s.

We were approached by patients in February, who were told by the ambulance service that they had been informed that not all patients would be transported by them for dialysis.

We wrote to Minister for Health, Ernest Britto, so that he would confirm whether or not the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) would still be arranging transport for patients being dialysed in the new hospital once the unit was operational.

Mr Britto replied that although the GHA had not yet formally adopted a policy, he would expect each case to be assessed on its merits and that any transport funded by the GHA, by ambulance or similar vehicle, to be provided only when medically necessary.

In view of this reply, we put a question in the House of Assembly in April. The official reply then by the Minister was:

“The clinical needs for transportation to St Bernard’s Hospital for Dialysis will be assessed on a case by case basis in line with protocols currently being developed for the Patient Transfer provided by St John Ambulance.”


We criticised Government during the budget session in late June, accusing them of once again being penny wise and pound foolish. Whilst, they spend millions of pounds on experts and on all the top jobs for persons they have engaged from abroad, they are looking at implementing cost saving measures which directly affect the patients.

Their attitude only proves how insensitive the Government is when it comes to the patients. Do they really know or care how a patient feels after receiving dialysis?

We therefore urge the Government to reconsider their position so that all patients receiving dialysis will be provided with transport.”



Related Articles and Links:

08 July 2005 - New Dialysis Unit at St Bernard's Hospital

Kidney failure (renal failure with uraemia, or azotaemia)

British Kidney Patient Association

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