David Cullinane TD and Liadh Ní Riada MEP join thousands at rally to demand 24/7 cardiac care for South East
Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has joined with thousands of protesters at a rally in Waterford this afternoon to demand the provision of 24/7 cardiac care for the people of the South East.
Deputy Cullinane, who was accompanied by Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada, said;
"The Southeast is the only region without full 24/7 emergency PPCI cover. As of yet no guarantees exist to right this wrong. It is a matter of equality and patient outcomes. This situation affects approximately 500,000 throughout Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary and Kilkenny. The campaign is completely right in its demand for the same level of cardiac care services for University Waterford as other regional hospitals.
"Patients in the Southeast who suffer a heart attack after 5pm or at weekends will still have to travel to Cork or Dublin. This is a totally unacceptable state of affairs.
"While I gave yesterday's announcement a cautious welcome, a mobile Cath Lab is not what we are looking for but is better than nothing. However, the details of what has been agreed have not been released. I have written to the Minister for Health asking for a full briefing on what is being proposed.
"The fact that the government failed to give any assurance or plans to right this wrong is further evidence that the coalition has a fundamental lack of understanding about the depth of the crisis facing the health services in the South East and throughout the state
“Since 2009, we have seen a serious lack of spend and investment at University Hospital Waterford. While demand is on the increase, capacity has been in sharp decline. The dire situation regarding cardiac services is reflective of that reality.
“What is happening in Waterford and the South East is not happening in isolation. Our public health services are being starved of resources. When we talk about capacity, we are talking about people.
"In September of this year, I drafted and published a document outlining the investment needs at University Hospital Waterford. I would again ask the Minister for Health to examine the issues raised in that document and to realise that the future of healthcare in Ireland has to be built on investment in the public system rather than on cuts, privatisation and outsourcing."