University Hospital Waterford must be allowed serve as a regional hospital and provide regional cardiology services - Cullinane
Sinn Fein TD for Waterford David Cullinane has called on the Government, the HSE and the Department of Health to reaffirm University Hospital Waterford's place as the regional hospital for the Southeast.
He added that this must be in word and practice. Deputy Cullinane was speaking ahead of a rally being held today in Waterford.
Deputy Cullinane said:
"The HSE say that University Hospital Waterford is the regional hospital for the Southeast providing a range of services to the region including cardiac services. However this is only in word but not in practice.
"The selective implementation of the Higgins Report and the reconfiguration of hospital services was a retrograde step for patient safety in the Southeast. It was a realignment that only served to carve up the Southeast for bigger hospitals in Dublin and Cork.
"However to help the medicine go down a number of sweeteners were offered. This included a commitment to enhance cardiology services at Waterford Regional Hospital. The hospital was to be renamed to University Hospital Waterford with the promise of five academic consultant posts. These sweeteners were not worth the paper they were written on.
"I warned at the time that Waterford and the Southeast would have to jealously guard services at the hospital and within the region. I also warned that future service delivery and an expansion of services would become more difficult.
"The expansion of cardiac services at UHW is not a parochial issue. It is a regional issue. It is about the very future of UHW and its place in the region.
"If the Government, the Department and the HSE are serious about UHW serving as the regional hospital it must prove so in deed and in resources. A new terms of reference must be put in place in any new review of cardiology services at UHW.
"The terms of reference must be clear and unambiguous. UHW must become the provider of all emergency and non emergency cardiac care for the people of the Southeast. And this must be accompanied by the additional services required to make this a reality based on clear medical and clinical need.
The delivery of 24/7 emergency cardiac care for patients living in the Southeast must be available in the region and at UHW"