Saturday 16 December 2017

Local issue became part of a national debate

A protest march took place in Waterford city last January against the lack of cardiac services at Waterford University Hospital. Photo: Patrick Browne.
A protest march took place in Waterford city last January against the lack of cardiac services at Waterford University Hospital. Photo: Patrick Browne.
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The demand for a second cath lab in University Hospital Waterford was a local issue which became part of a national debate.

The second full-time lab was part of the price of support for the Government put forward by Independent Waterford Deputy John Halligan.

The promise to conduct a review of the need for the lab was seen as a formality.

Dr Niall Herity was the Belfast cardiologist tasked with carrying out the review.

Cardiologists in Waterford believed the case for a second lab was indisputable, pointing to waiting times for non-emergency patients having grown to dangerous levels of 18 months.

Inpatient treatment times had risen to more than a week when ideally they should be treated in 24 hours.

But Dr Herity said that based on his analysis a second cath lab was not warranted, although there should be more investment in the existing service.

Cork University Hospital would be the back-up.

Irish Independent

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