Write to PANORAMA
Who is to blame for this mess?
I am currently working as a Safety Advisor on an oil rig just off
Eastern Russia and was looking through the internet version of
Panorama. I have read the article which pointed out how the tourists
could view Gibraltar and the mess it could be at certain times, and
I have read it with interest.
I am from Gibraltarian parents but lived all of my life in the UK
(coming here for many holidays) and was deeply disappointed to see
how the Gibraltar of my memories had changed - and not for the
better. It is easy to say "I blame the parents" and many would argue
that parents cannot be everywhere or that it is the schools
responsibility to teach.
But in this case I believe the adults ARE to blame. Schools teach
our children about the Battle of Hastings and what 6 x 8 are.
Schools teach languages and how to make sodium crystals without
blowing up the school science lab. What schools do not teach is how
to behave in public, how to treat others with respect and courtessy,
repect for property and most of all simple manners.
Adults have no right to concider themselves parents if all they do
is have sex, give the child a name, some shiny new toys and then
pass the end result on for others to sort out. These are things
which are now missing in Gibraltar with many of our children and
The photographs show a hypocritical side of our people when we cheer
at the speeches on National Day about Gibraltar Pride and then trash
the place the next day. It is the parents who teach children the
rules of behaviour both in the home and in public. I live at the
Montagu and in the summer nothing gives me greater pleasure than to
see a bunch of young mums sitting there while their 4 year old
daughters joyfully ride their little bubble gum pink bicycles around
the walkways. This is great, it show me that some mums actually
supervise their kiddies.
On the other hand, many of these are the same mums who also allow
their 15 year old 9 stone teenager to ride like lunatics on back
wheels in the same area despite this being very much against the
estate rules, and they know it!
There is the impression that the common train of thought is that
"these rules apply to everyone - except me" - Behaviour like this is
probably why so many scooter riders jump traffic lights even before
pedestrians have got half way across. Maybe someone should teach
small children that there are rules so that later when they become
young motorists, they do not have this delusion that Amber means "go
faster" or not wait that few extra seconds for the Go light
Are these adults waiting for a 9 stone boy on one wheel to crash and
severely hurt a 4 year old or worse - before they realise that they
are the one allowing this to happen? Who is at most fault - the
person who does or the person who lets them? We all know that
children will try to get away with whatever they are allowed to. In
cases like these it's the parent who set the standards of behavour
that the children freely follow and if the levels of behaviour
standards are set that low, then we cannot expect any better from
those we are suposed to guide.
We must take ownership of our children's actions and responsibility
for their behaviour - or we will get the Gibraltar we deserve.
not extended to Taxi Association officially
Further to the item written in the Panorama, reference taxi driver’s
invitation to the Mayor’s Parlour. We feel that it must be brought
to your attention that the invitation by the Mayor was not extended
to the G.T.A. officially. But was done in such a way that only non
members of the G.T.A., including retired taxi drivers, taxi owners
and certain hand picked G.T.A. members.
The G.T.A. Committee and the majority of the official members of the
G.T.A. were not invited and when this was brought to the attention
of the Mayor himself by way of a third party, a good friend of Mr.
Mommy Levy, he did nothing to correct this. Needless to say, the
action of the Mayor has gone down extremely badly with the G.T.A.
This has been seen as a direct act of retaliation by non members and
the Mayor himself who must have been aware of the fact that when the
G.T.A. celebrated its 50th Anniversary only members of the G.T.A.
were invited to attend the event.
The G.T.A. strongly believes that the Mayor’s actions are totally
unbefitting of a man holding such an office and regret to say that
his actions have directly caused a greater divide between taxi
drivers, members and non members alike.
Gibraltar Taxi Association
...and back to the Hell Centre
Last week Mr A Loddo commented on a letter I had written and pointed
out another issue with regards all the appointments that are also
being lost as a result of patients failing to cancel unwanted
It is a disgrace that people do not take the trouble to cancel an
appointment but firstly if you have to call the Hell Centre to find
out the number for cancellations no one answers. I am still trying
in case I need to.
Secondly because the appointments are made so far in advance the
chances are that people will forget and even though patients are
called to remind them of their appointment, if they are out when
called they will miss the reminder and perhaps the appointment.
However the point is that if patients were not made to visit a
doctor either for a repeat prescription or to be given a test
result, think of all the extra number of appointments that would
As I also said in a previous letter in 2005 that following the
decision to remove the repeat prescription facility made some time
ago, in a bid to curb the rising costs of the abuse of the
prescription service, patients were required to see a doctor for a
repeat prescription. So the Hell Centre is being inundated with
frustrated patients who do not really need or want to see a doctor.
In the past to get a repeat prescription all you needed to do was to
itemize the medication, leave it in a box and the prescription would
be ready for collection three days later.
Added to the huge numbers already conglomerating at the Hell Centre,
as a result of the drastic and savage changes to private healthcare
there is a further influx of patients needing repeat prescriptions
and test results, because if you go to a private doctor you pay for
the medication and tests.
So if a patient were to prefer to pay to see a doctor privately
would it not relieve the demand on the Hell Centre if patients could
get the prescriptions and tests free of charge on their GPMS card?
If the private sector were allowed to work with and not isolated
from the Hell Centre it would not change the demand for
prescriptions and tests but what it would do is to divert the number
of patients visiting the Hell Centre.
However it is not only the patients who are frustrated but the
doctors too, who in private conversations agree that the system is
failing everyone. From some of the views expressed, there seems to
be a lack of adequate administrative support and backup to enable
doctors to spend more time with the patients who actually need
Is anyone in consultation with the doctors to see how best to tackle
these problems? But then would doctors feel free to speak up or
would they feel they might be considered “difficult” if they did?
Since all the problems affecting the Hell Centre have been going on
for so long and I believe a report was carried out, when are these
findings going to be made available because I am sure the medical
staff would like to know if they need to, or how best they can
improve the service they are providing.
The intrinsic problems of the appointments system have been created
by the enforced needless visits to the doctor for repeat
prescriptions or getting results of tests, and the other unfortunate
changes to the dispensing of the three monthly prescriptions are
adding even more inconvenience to patients which I will comment on
in due course.