David Cullinane TD challenges Health Minister on status of University Hospital Waterford
David Cullinane, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, today challenged the Minister for Health over the contradictions between the status of University Hospital Waterford in the Higgins Report and its status in the recent Herity Report.
Deputy Cullinane said:
"The Minister’s statement on the Herity Report contradicts the Higgins Report, which underpins the actual regional policy.
"In 2013, Higgins recommended, and the government accepted, a commitment to make Waterford a university teaching hospital, a commitment to 24/7 cardiology services and retention of tertiary services.
"The fundamental issue here is that the government is not following through in its prior commitments. It seems they are re-writing policy and making assumptions on the catchment area the hospital covers.
"The Minister is changing the goalposts and appears to be using the terms of reference it drew up for the Herity Report to do so. It now seems that the people of the Southeast were misled in assurances given in the Higgins Report
"Dr. Herity could only work within the terms of reference he was given. This is not a criticism of the work he did.
"It is, however, a criticism of the terms of reference drawn up for the Herity Report.
"This issue can only be settled through a calm and sober reflection on the actual clinical needs of the South East. The Minister needs to come clean as to the status of University Hospital and do so quickly.
"I have been consistent in calling for that approach and I will continue to support such an approach.
"But it is not fair to say in 2013 there is in effect a clinical need in the South East for 24/7 cardiology services but to then argue in 2016 that this is not in fact the case."