“Gozitans deserve a new and modern general hospital.”

The new hospital will have around 400 beds, doubling the number of patients the Gozo hospital can accommodate.

A plan for the development and regeneration of the Gozo General Hospital will see the creation of a new acute hospital. The new hospital will have around 400 beds, doubling the number of patients the Gozo hospital can accommodate. Part of the regeneration plan includes a new anatomy centre, a new research facility, a Child Development Assessment Unit (CDAU), and the installation of a new helipad for emergency transfers to Mater Dei Hospital.

Minister for Health and Active Ageing Jo Etienne Abela told The Journal that the main aim is for Gozo to have modern and comprehensive medical infrastructure, ensuring state-of-the-art services in Gozo itself.

Jo Etienne Abela, Minister for Health and Active Ageing.

What is the rationale behind the Master Plan?

Minister Abela: The Gozo General Hospital has served thousands of patients. Hundreds of nurses and doctors, including myself, have been educated and trained there. This must not be forgotten. However, realities are changing. The population of Gozo is growing in number and age. We need to address future challenges with more modern infrastructure. The current services are excellent, but now we need to advance further.

Gozitans deserve a new and modern general hospital. Thus, the master plan was created. We are conducting geological studies and plan to submit an application to the Planning Authority this year.

What are the biggest challenges and what has been done so far?

Minister Abela: The biggest challenge is demography. The population of Gozo is increasing, with year-round tourism and enterprises employing many foreigners. Additionally, society demands state-of-the-art services. Many developments have already taken place. The theatres were renovated, and a CT scanner was acquired ten years ago. The new MRI service is already serving hundreds of people in Gozo. I also want to mention the tender for a new CT scanner and new ultrasound machines.

In orthopaedics, investments have been made in equipment for operations on bones and joints, and we will continue to make advances. In cardiology, a new heart monitoring procedure is now available in Gozo. In surgery, where I worked for many years as a surgeon, there have been developments in endoscopy and keyhole surgeries.

What will be the relationship between the Gozo General Hospital and Mater Dei Hospital?

Minister Abela: The new hospital in Gozo cannot be a mini-Mater Dei. Although we will offer more services, including oncology, the Gozo General Hospital will remain focused on secondary care. For super-specialised matters, it is important that Gozitans go to Mater Dei, where the larger numbers ensure the best experience in specialised sectors. This is something we cannot deny Gozitan residents.

Over the last four months, we have worked hard to directly connect the Gozo hospital and Mater Dei with a helicopter link. We are repairing the helipad in front of Mater Dei Hospital and developing another area on the Gozo hospital campus to accommodate a helipad. We want those needing emergency transfers to Mater Dei to have a direct link between the two hospitals.

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