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GHA Statement – 195/2023

By April 3, 2023 No Comments

On 2 December 2021, the GHA issued a statement on maternity services. In that statement, the GHA indicated that the contracts of two out of the four gynaecologists would expire at the end of December 2021 and January 2022 with a third gynaecologist’s contract expiring in June 2022. The GHA referred to a request from Unite to consider extending these contracts. The GHA statement went on to say:

“Unfortunately, issues of clinical concern came to light arising from the care provided by some of those concerned. As a result, the GHA is not prepared to consider the union’s request to extend the contracts further upon their expiry.”

Nonetheless, following the GHA’s statement, the three clinicians whose contracts were due to expire were offered extensions to their contracts. One of them, Dr Balachandar, felt that she was unable to accept the extension to the contract and resigned from her position.

The Government issued a further statement on 20 December 2021 in which it said:

“The GHA is pleased to confirm that it has been able to resolve the clinical issues that had arisen in respect of the gynaecology service… Having consulted the relevant bodies, the GHA is reassured that patient care and safety have not been compromised.”

The GHA’s Medical Director at the time wrote to Dr Balachandar on 30 March 2022. In that email, the Medical Director apologised to Dr Balachandar on behalf of the GHA for the circumstances that led to her earlier than expected departure and went on to express to Dr Balachandar his heartfelt gratitude for the huge contribution she had made to the healthcare of the women of Gibraltar. The Medical Director added:

“We were very lucky to have been able to recruit a professional of your experience and calibre in the prime of your career. Your hard work and dedication to your patients and colleagues has made a big and positive difference to the lives of many women and by extension to their loved ones too.”

The GHA re-affirms the sentiments expressed by the Medical Director on its behalf. It also confirms that there were no clinical concerns regarding Dr Balachandar’s practice and apologises for any inference to the contrary that may have arisen from the statement of 2 December 2021. The GHA wishes Dr Balachandar well in her career.