Changes: Age of consent

VANCOUVER, BC -- SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 -- Some of the expensive equipment in an ICU room at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on September 19, 2012. For part of the Heartbeat series. (Wayne Leidenfrost/ PNG) (For story by Cheryl Chan)

THE GIBRALTAR Social Democrats have described recent comments from the Gibraltarian Government as an ‘insult’ to staff.

The intensive care unit contracts row continues between the government and opposition party, which has released a statement asking for empathy over ‘sound’ information it released about ICU contracts.

In response to the government’s labelling of the information as ‘malicious rumours’, the statement said: “Its anger at being held to account is palpable and its description of our sources within the GHA as “malicious” does it no credit it at all.

“It is simply an insult to concerned members of staff.”

The GSD said it is in favour of training local nurses, but that it should not be at the ‘expense of qualified people in the ICU who provide an excellent and essential service in saving lives.’

In a previous statement from the government, Minister for Health Neil Costa said :”Where is there a scrap of evidence that the GHA is planning to replace experienced ICU nurses with newly-qualified staff? There is none.”

However the GSD in its first statement said that doctors and nurses had expressed concern about the measure and its impact this will have on the ICU to deliver the ‘first rate service’ it currently delivers.

In response to Costa’s comment, it said: “The information we have that the Government was considering not renewing the contracts of four very experienced non-Gibraltarian nurses in the ICU to replace them with four newly qualified Gibraltarian nurses is sound.

“The Government does not appear to understand that the uncertainty in relation to the futures of fixed term contract holders in the GHA is affecting morale, not only of those involved but their local colleagues who are both concerned about the quality of the service and empathise with the way people are being treated,” it continued.