Government attitude towards Waterford and the South East has to change – Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane today lambasted the Health Minister over the government’s refusal to provide 24/7 primary PCI cover at University Hospital Waterford.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Cullinane said:
“The people of Waterford and the South East are angry, and they have a right to be angry.
“Thomas Power presented himself at University Hospital Waterford and was transferred to Cork because it is HSE policy to have the cardiac unit shut at the weekend.
“That policy did not save Mr Power’s life. It did not work.
“And let me say that again; it is national policy not to have a single primary PCI unit open in the entire south east after 5pm and at weekends.
“University Hospital Waterford has a catchment area of half a million people, just over 10 per cent of the entire population.
“The deliberate blocking of a full 24/7 PCI policy for the South East created the circumstances for something like this to happen.
“The people of Waterford knew this and lived in fear of it.
“We organised. We held meetings. We marched. We wrote to the Minister and explained the situation.
“When a national review was announced to great fanfare by the Minister, I submitted a document outlining the clinical and population reasons for having a second Cath lab and 24/7 cover.
“Let me state here that it is normal for a regional hospital to provide such cover. What is not normal is to take it away.
“The government’s policy towards Waterford and the South East has to change.
“University Hospital Waterford services the south east and needs both the resources and the policy that befits a regional hospital.
“The people of Waterford and the South East still not stand for this any longer.
“The policy needs to go, and if the policy stays, the Minister must go.”