A NEW 16-year private sector partnership will help Gibraltar take a ‘huge’ step toward diagnosing and treating heart problems locally.
The Gibraltar Health Authority closed the deal with Royal Philips this week to supply heart scanning, X-ray and surgery equipment and training.
This agreement with the global leader in health technology is part of the ‘Reset, Restart, Recover’ plan kicked off after COVID-19.
The pandemic stopped patients from going to the UK and Spain to get emergency treatment.
As part of the deal, Gibraltar will get ‘a brand-new interventional cardiac suite (‘cath lab’)’ in 9-12 months’, the GHA said in a statement.
More local patients will for the first time not need to go to the UK and Spain to get scanned.
“Expected clinical outcomes include reduced length of stays for such patients, relieving pressure on demand for hospital beds and ambulance transport services, and improvement in 30-day mortality rates,” the GHA said.
As a result, St Bernard’s Hospital will soon be able to take on heart surgery.
It will offer ‘angioplasty’ to open clogged heart arteries, ‘angiography’ using X-ray imaging to see blood flow and ‘catheterisation’ to check heart conditions.
The new equipment will treat blocked arteries and help replace heart valves to stop heart attacks.
Philips will provide two x-ray rooms, a fluoroscopy room for real-time moving x-ray imagery, image intensifiers and ultrasounds.
It will install a new CT scanner that will expand heart treatment and prevent diagnostics delays and down-time.
“For the first time, clinical staff will be able to manage acute cardiac diseases, such as heart attacks, in a purpose-built suite,” Mark Leftwich, Managing Director for Philips UK and Ireland said.
“Philips Imaging Systems and Informatics will enable faster scanning time and enhanced collaboration.
“This will help create more efficiency and capacity within the departments and improved image quality will support safer diagnosis.”
The deal will see Philips become the exclusive provider for diagnostic equipment on the Rock.
“We are delighted to renew and strengthen our relationship with Philips with this new partnership,” Patrick Geoghegan, GHA Director General said.
“The impact that this new diagnostic equipment will have on our operation and on the quality of care we will be able to provide for our community is huge.
“Gibraltar Health Authority continues to strive to provide the best healthcare to the people of Gibraltar,” he added.