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Ó Clochartaigh calls for reinstatement of funding for Art Assist Technology

2 July, 2013

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on the HSE to reinstate funding for Art Assist Technology, a health treatment which saves lives, limbs and money.

Speaking this afternoon Senator Ó Clochartaigh said;

“The HSE discontinued funding for the Art Assist Technolgy subject to a HIQA review saying there wasn’t enough evidence the treatment worked.

“Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon Mr Sherif Sultan, based in Galway Clinic, did a presentation in Leinster House on the issue a couple of months ago.

“He claims to have had great success with the treatment and was disappointed that HSE funding was cut subject to review.

“The HIQA report shows that ‘despite some promising results on the effect of intermittent pneumatic compression in people with severe peripheral arterial disease who are not suitable for revascularisation, further high quality studies are required to reliably demonstrate its effectiveness.’

“The report states that ‘no serious adverse events’ from using the technology were found and one study of a small number of patients shows treatment may be associated with limb salvage, wound healing and pain management.

“It is obvious that certain clinicians are happy to use this technology and that they believe it has an extremely beneficial impact on the patient’s wellbeing while saving huge amounts of money for the health service in the longer term.

“This could be compared to the use of trial drugs in the treatment of cancer which is accepted medical practice and has got a lot of media lately.

“Therefore, I am calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE to allow the use of and fund such technology in Ireland as part of an ongoing programme which would also help in the collation of the empirical data needed to confirm the efficacy of the treatment as HIQA have outlined.”

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