Since moving to Gibraltar, I have been interested to know what would happen when I would run out of meds. I am not quite there yet, but I wanted to start the ball rolling.
Here in Gibraltar, there are two parallel systems… the private healthcare system and the public one. Not being able to afford private healthcare, I will be describing my experience with the Gibraltar Health Authority. To access care via the GHA you have to have a GHA card, and to get one of those you need to be paying into the system via tax, or be the dependent, spouse or civil partner of someone who is. Fortunately, as Andrew’s husband, I qualify.
HIV meds are prescribed by your GP who is based in the Primary Care Centre. Bloods are taken by the nurses in Infection Control at St Bernard’s Hospital and sent on to a lab. Currently, the most local HIV consultant is in La Línea de la Concepción, the neighbouring town across the Frontier in the Kingdom of Spain.
On Monday, I visited my GP for the first time, and was prescribed there and then the Eviplera. He sent me off to St Bernard’s for the blood tests from which I hope to have the results soon, and now my only worry is which pharmacy (there are many) to present my prescription in. Fortunately, the infection control nurse who took my bloods said that he could arrange for someone to accompany me to meet the consultant in La Línea.
So, it seems relatively painless. I am glad that it is managed by the GPs – perhaps this is something from which Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom could learn?