26th May 2021 – The Gozo General Hospital, operated by Steward Health Care Malta, has officially launched the first genitourinary medicine clinic, better known as GU clinic, in Gozo. The clinic will operate on Friday afternoons on a fortnightly basis and offers a number of services aimed at the prevention as well as the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and infections (commonly referred to as STD’s and STI’s respectively) as part of the national health service.
Commenting at the launch, Gozo General Hospital Executive Director Joseph Fenech said that the new clinic formed part of Steward Health Care’s drive towards providing a wider range of services to Gozitan society and those who live in and visit the island.
Through the GU clinic, patients can avail themselves from a wide range of screening services for both symptomatic as well as asymptomatic conditions. The professional staff at the GU clinic provide testing services for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, HPV, HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis among others, together with the treatment of the same, including cryotherapy. HIV prevention including PReP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) advice and PEPSE (Post-exposure prophylaxis) are also provided from the GU clinic in Gozo.
Prevention of sexually transmitted ailments is prioritised through sexual education and advice on safe sex and contraception. All services at the GU clinic are provided in strict confidence.
“The preservation of confidentiality, which provides a safe and non-judgmental environment in which patients can receive a holistic sexual health service, is of utmost importance for us. Patients will not be required to present an ID number. Instead they will be provided with a GU code, which will be used for all tests that are taken. This is another step to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of our clients,” Fenech noted.
Speaking during the launch of the GU clinic, the Coordinator of LGBTI+ Gozo Eman Borg welcomed the introduction of the service. He said that the initiative taken by Steward Health Care Malta was one that prioritises sexual health amongst all Gozitans. Borg appealed to all Gozitans to make use of the new service provided at the Gozo General Hospital, for the benefit of a healthier society.
Steward Health Care Malta actively collaborates with various stakeholders including the communities it serves as well as NGOs. The opening of the GU clinic is the latest in a line of investments and initiatives carried out by Steward Health Care. In March of this year, Steward Health Care completed the refurbishment of the physiotherapy department at Karin Grech Hospital, which followed an extensive upgrade of both emergency and outpatient departments at Gozo General Hospital.