The new Clinical Laboratory at the Gozo General Hospital has been inaugurated today by Minister for Health Chris Fearne, Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, and Gozo General Hospital Executive Director Joseph Fenech.
“It represents an investment of €1.2 million in new infrastructure and equipment that will aid in optimising workflows and outcomes, and that will help in making the laboratory’s operations more scalable,” Steward Healthcare Malta said.
Steward explained that it introduces advanced technology and first-level automation. “Among the systems in the new laboratory, is a cutting-edge, automated immunoassay analyser, an integrated chemistry system, a robotic interface solution that performs intelligent sample processing, a fully automated, high-volume diagnostic haematology analyser, a digital morphology system and finally, a compact haemostasis analyser, the first of its kind on the Maltese islands.”
“The new clinical laboratory has further strengthened our hospital operations, significantly reducing the need to send samples for testing outside of the hospital,” commented Mr Joseph Fenech.
He explained that “the insourcing of such processes is a model that Steward Malta is focusing on within its hospitals to ensure higher operational efficiency and the ability to run quasi self-sufficient facilities.”
“The high-tech equipment has been very positively received by our medical laboratory scientists and lab staff, as laborious and repetitive tasks have been reduced allowing them to focus on the higher-skills based components of their work,” Mr Fenech added.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our hard-working staff for their dedication during the challenging transition from one lab to the other” he said. “This project represents the Steward way of doing business – putting quality at the heart of everything that we do.”
Mr Fenech emphasised that, “beyond the important infrastructural upgrades such as the new clinical laboratory and the recently opened Anatomy Centre, a significant amount of work is going on behind the scenes in other areas of the business such as recruitment, quality assurance and supply chain management.”
Health Minister Chris Fearne hailed the €1.2 million investment in the new lab and explained how this reduced the need for tests to be sent for analysis in Malta, saving time and allowing the Gozo hospital to deliver better care.
“This augers well for health care in Gozo. The lab on its own however, will not give the necessary results, which is why we need to continue strengthening our personnel so that together we can deliver on our vision for quality care close to home for the Gozitan community,” added Minister Fearne.
He explained that last year there were around 643, 500 blood tests in Gozo, with 117,000 of these sent to Malta for testing, and which will now be done in Gozo. There has also been an increase in staff at the Pathology Lab, with six scientists and five assistants, making a total of 38 in the department, all of whom were provided with specialised training within the hospital, Dr Fearne said.
Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana explained how the new lab meant that the Gozo General Hospital can introduce new services and standards.
“The improvements in quality aren’t only for our patients, but thanks to such projects and initiatives we are also creating quality jobs in Gozo for members of our community,” said Minister Caruana.
Steward Malta said that it is also in the process of finalising the details of a masterplan which will communicate the timelines and details for the complete renovation of Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Hospital.
“The masterplan will map out all the service lines and ensure that the planned hospital infrastructures truly meet the high-level quality requirements necessary to care for the Maltese and Gozitan communities for many years to come,” it said.
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