Labour Party optimistic, following Minister’s commitments on 24/7 cardiac care for the South East

21 September 2018

Labour Party public representatives in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford have been told by party leader Brendan Howlin that 24 hour, seven days a week Cardiology Cath Lab for the region based at University Hospital (UHW) is one step closer if assurances stated by the Minister for Health can be acted on over the next year.

Mr. Howlin, a TD for the Wexford constituency, yesterday joined Oireachtas colleagues from around the South East at Dublin’s Leinster House to meet the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD. The meeting addressed the situation whereby a nine to five, seven days a week cardiology currently prevails in the region and concluded – in the Labour Party leader’s view – with more substantial progress on the subject than has been apparent to date.

Deputy Howlin confirmed that the Minister for Health has directed the South/South West Hospital Group to begin the process for the design and construction of a second, permanent Cath Lab at UHW – which will occur simultaneously to the recruitment of additionally required staff. This process – according to stated commitments at the meeting by Minister Harris – will take just over a year. In the meantime, the Minister told those present at the meeting yesterday that the mobile diagnostic facility will remain in place at UHW and the National Review of Cardiac Services (including the provision of 24/7 cardiac care for the South East based in UWW) will be concluded by the middle of next year.

Welcoming the news, the Labour Party’s Waterford constituency general election candidate Cllr. John Pratt said:

“I was delighted when the party leader rang me with news of what had been conveyed to the meeting by the Minister. An additional commitment is for the South/South West Hospital Group to report monthly as to South East Oireachtas members – including our party leader Deputy Howlin and the Labour Party’s health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD – as to the progress of the plan set in place by the Minister. Deputy Howlin, who sees this as an issue vital to his and other constituents in our region, came to Waterford at the weekend and met with myself and fellow local representatives of the party Séamus Ryan, Jack Walsh, and Ger Barron. Brendan Howlin left us in no doubt as to the Labour Party’s commitment to delivery on 24/7 cardiac care for the South East based in UHW and we will continue to work doggedly to that end.”

“We are assured by the Minister that the current National Review process will look at all the known evidence and in the context of the whole South East. If that’s the case (which we argue wasn’t done in the previous “Herrity” Report), there can only be one positive, conclusion. In the meantime, the management of the South/South West Hospital Group will be held to account and will be put working with the Dept. of Health to put the infrastructure in place that will once and for all correct this dangerous gap in vital hospital services for the people of counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford”

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