The Gibraltar Government yesterday announced the recruitment of a GP with special interest in alcohol addiction and substance misuse, adding another stand of services to the Primary, Community and Mental Health services.
Dr Chimene Taylor will work closely with the Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Rehabilitation Services to improve medical care and recovery from substance and alcohol addiction.
She will dedicate one morning a week to working at Bruce’s Farm for general medical care for residents and will also be providing a community detox service to clients from her medical clinic in the Primary Care Centre.
According to the Government, this aspect of her role will be invaluable in continuing care for those who have completed a programme at Bruce’s Farm and will also provide confidential detox care.
Dr Taylor was joined by Health Minister Neil Costa and Deputy Medical Director and Director of Primary Care Dr Krishna Rawal in setting out the plans at a press conference at No. 6 Convent Place yesterday.
Mr Costa underscored that this should be seen in the context of the series of the reforms which have been steadily implemented at the Primary Care Centre since December of last year.
It follows on from the implementation of evening clinics and the recently announced Well Person Unit which will include a comprehensive Sexual Health Service at the Primary Care Centre.
The idea, he explained, is to have a more holistic service at the Primary Care Centre to make primary care truly a community service.
Dr Rawal said: “The series of reforms has primarily focused on accessibility and better access for all of our patients.”
“But of course as a community medical service we really need to concentrate also on perhaps those sections of our community that struggle to access our services more easily or perhaps sections of our community who may just not seek the care of a GP.”
“So this is where Dr Taylor comes in,” he explained.
“The intention is to develop this much further so that we provide detox services and support for the patients and clients of Bruce’s Farm after they have completed a programme to come and have detox treatments in the community so that means coming into primary care where we provide general care so there’s a confidentiality in that sense in terms of the fact that you could be coming for any particular reason.”
Dr Rawal added: “To me this is very, very important and I’m very keen that we look after every single section of our community.”
Dr Taylor, a highly experienced and well trained local GP who has recently returned to Gibraltar, outlined her hopes of developing a more seamless service so that patients who have been discharged from Bruce’s Farm have a medical follow-up.
She said: “They’re already getting follow-up by the Bruce’s Farm team, which is excellent, but it’s adding another tier to that of getting medical follow-up ongoing after they’ve left Bruce’s Farm so they’ve got extra support.”
Mr Costa added: “The recruitment of a GP with Special Interest in alcohol addiction and substance misuse is an excellent example of how my Ministry and the Gibraltar Health Authority is working in close collaboration with other Ministries to serve our community in the best possible way.”
“I am extremely proud of all my GPs, who provide a truly excellent service to this community. By developing specialist skills, they are able to show how adaptable and crucial a General Practitioner is as part of any healthy and well cared-for community.”
“I am eager to encourage all health care professionals to develop higher in specialist interests, in order to progress further in their careers, and to always strive for the highest standards of healthcare.”
Pic by Johnny Bugeja