Prime Minister Joseph Muscat hailed the opening of the Barts Anatomy Centre as a milestone in “turning Gozo into a centre of medical excellence” as he inaugurated the facility on Wednesday.

Dr Muscat said the anatomy centre was the “beginning of a long-term relationship” with the Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, noting that the school could now count 59 students in their first and second years of study in Malta and Gozo.

“They are the future generation of doctors, professors, specialists and researchers in various fields of medicine,” he said. “They are getting training here and taking their knowledge far and wide. We want these students to feel proud to call our islands their home.”

The Prime Minister also hailed the investment by Steward Health Care as a “statement of intent” and evidence that the company would deliver on its goal of turning Malta and Gozo into a global leader in the healthcare sector.

The new facility, within the Gozo General Hospital campus in Victoria, includes an anatomy lab, a dedicated area for dissections and embalming, as well as facilities for showing clinical images, videos of surgical procedures and specialised computer imaging.

It is part of ongoing construction work for a new medical school at the Gozo hospital, which is due to be completed in Spring 2019.Barts vice principal Steve Thornton said the new facilities would allow for the development of a strong medical community and ensure that the school was fully embedded in the local community.

“By working together with the government and our educational partners in Malta we intend to contribute to the government’s vision for the healthcare sector through the training of medical professionals with all the skills needed to provide exceptional healthcare,” he said.

Steward Health Care president Armin Ernst described the facilities as one of the best he had visited in the last 20 years.

“Turning Gozo General Hospital into a teaching hospital is a huge first step into improving the healthcare in the community we serve,” he said.

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