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Health Care in Waterford needs support and investment – David Cullinane TD

1 August, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has today launched a comprehensive document on health care in Waterford. The document focuses on acute and community care and details long wait times and a lack of capacity across the system.

It also focuses on solutions and charts the many and varied funding applications made by University Hospital Waterford to increase capacity.

Speaking at the launch Deputy Cullinane said:

“For ten years I have tracked capacity at University Hospital Waterford. The staff at the hospital are doing a first class job despite having one hand tied behind their backs. The pressure points in the delivery of critical care have been consistent for the last decade. Ophthalmology, ENT, Dermatology, Orthopaedics and Cardiac Care have all lacked capacity. This has resulted in longer wait times and tens of thousands of citizens waiting over a year simply to see a Consultant.

“A lack of capacity is not just confined to acute health care. Mental Health, Orthodontic treatment, Home Helps and Geriatric Care support are also lacking and creating long lists and an inadequate service. For too long mental health has been the Cinderella of Irish Health Care. The CAHMS service is severely under resourced with a lack of child psychiatrists and children at risk ending up in adult psychiatric wards. This is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue.

“The fight for better cardiac services has been a lightning rod for a lack of investment and service delivery at University Hospital Waterford. It is unacceptable that patients in the South East do not have access to 24/7 Emergency Cardiac Care (PPCI). The Government dragged their feet for years and their recent conversion to the need for a second Cath Lab has soured an otherwise positive development.

“The people of Waterford and the Southeast are proud of the staff that work at University Hospital Waterford. They want to be proud of the hospital delivering the best in Health Care with reduced and more acceptable wait times. This will require investment and goodwill. The management at UHW are developing plans to increase capacity across all services. However a failure to realise those plans is eroding public confidence.

“The plan to build a Centre of Excellence for Orthopaedics is an exciting one. However it must be funded and urgently delivered. The building of a new mortuary is a welcome development but it is 7 years too late. The battle for improved cardiac care can be made easier by the Department and the HSE recognising that the Southeast deserves equality of treatment. The development of a new Eye Clinic and advances in cancer treatment are also welcome but they need to be funded.

“I will continue to do all I can to promote University Hospital Waterford and the good work that it does. I will equally challenge the HSE, the Department and the Minister to do more and deliver the capital and current expenditure required to increase capacity and services at the Hospital. There is an onus on local Oireachtas members to hold decision makers to account and to deliver for Waterford. That will continue to be my primary focus.” 

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