King Edward VII Hospital
King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (known locally as ‘KEMH’) is the base for most of the Islands’ medical, dental and inpatient services. It has 29 beds, including 18 acute beds, a maternity bed, isolation unit, intensive care unit and seven long-stay beds for older people.
There are also modern facilities for outpatients and community health care, a day centre, two dental surgeries, and a single theatre with anaesthetic room. KEMH is the only hospital in the Falkland Islands, based at St Mary’s Walk in Stanley.
The forerunner to KEMH was the Victoria Cottage Hospital, located on the site of Gilbert House. KEMH officially opened in 1915 and, prior to 1982, provided a small range of healthcare services. Following a devastating fire in 1984, the hospital was almost completely destroyed. It was then rebuilt and reopened in 1987.
A variety of overseas medical specialists work in the hospital on a locum basis, depending on need. Examples of specialist care includes:
- Ear, nose and throat (ENT), oral and maxillofacial surgery
- Obstetrics and gynaecology
Visiting specialists provide consultations and surgery for non-urgent and elective cases. We are also supported by consultant advisors covering all of the specialties listed above, as well as paediatrics, neonatology and anaesthetics, who provide advice in the management and treatment of specific patients.
Patients who cannot be treated in the Islands can be referred to UK hospitals under a reciprocal agreement with the NHS; although some patients are also referred to Chile and Uruguay for diagnosis and treatment.
Most services, including prescriptions, are free to residents and British nationals. However, there are charges for some dental procedures, spectacles, travel vaccines and a limited number of medical services; the Falkland Islands Government reserves the right to alter these charges when deemed appropriate.
Charges are applicable for patients who are not entitled to free treatment, including a range of overseas visitors, tourists and workers e.g. visiting fishermen. Medical insurance is strongly advised for these groups.
KEMH’s clinical services are supported by a highly dedicated team of administrative and ancillary staff including estates and engineering, receptionists, medical secretaries, cooks, domestic workers, drivers, handymen, stores and supplies. The hard work of this wider team helps the hospital run smoothly.