Falkland Island Healthcare

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The Falkland Islands Government Health and Social Services Department provides medical and dental care for the islands. The general standard of health within the Falkland Islands is good.

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Primary and secondary healthcare facilities are based at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) in Stanley, the only hospital in the Islands. It is a 27-bed hospital with a small accident and emergency department, an acute ward with a two-bedded intensive care unit, an isolation unit, and a maternity bed. It has an adjoining 7-bed long stay nursing care unit consisting of single rooms with ensuite facilities. Patients requiring primary care and outpatient services are seen in the dedicated outpatient suite. Dental services are also located in the hospital. There is a well-equipped pharmacy which dispenses all prescriptions and provides an 'over the counter' medicine sales and health advice service.

The social services team provides support for a wide range of people with social care needs including children, older people, and people with disabilities or long-term mental health problems. As well as a sheltered and mobile warden service, they also provide the Islands' probation service.

KEMH has a full range of medical, dental, nursing (including midwives and community nurses), allied health professional staff and engineering, qualified to UK standards or recognised equivalents. Wherever possible, the hospital adheres to UK standards/guidelines for medical practice.

Care to the remote farm settlements is provided by the GPs via telephone consultations and regular visits. In an emergency situation, the doctor can be taken to the settlement, or the patient evacuated to Stanley, using the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS).

Specialist services are provided by a range of visiting consultants based in the United Kingdom. These include ophthalmologist, gynaecologist, ENT surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, psychiatrist, and oral surgeon. Patients who cannot wait for their visits, or who need access to other diagnostic or treatment services are referred either to UK hospitals under a reciprocal agreement with the UK NHS, or, increasingly, to Santiago. Patients who need emergency treatment that the hospital cannot provide may be flown by air ambulance to Chile or Uruguay.