Protests planned over cath lab issue
Health Minister Simon Harris has been warned Waterford will accept nothing less than a permanent second catheterisation lab for critical cardiac procedures.
The warning came as Catherine Power, who lost her brother Tom (40) to a heart attack while he was being transferred from University Hospital Waterford to Cork University Hospital, urged the Government to "do the right thing" for the people of the south-east.
A series of protest marches are now planned to highlight the need for a permanent second cath lab at Waterford.
A compromise measure has seen Waterford secure a mobile lab. However, this can only deal with diagnostics and not 'stent' procedures.
In an embarrassment for the Government, the main cath lab at Waterford had to suspend procedures earlier this month due to a problem with lab equipment. Patients had to be temporarily referred to Cork.
Ms Power insisted that her brother could have been saved if the cath lab at Waterford had been operational on the day he fell ill last June.
He was rushed to Cork but died as his ambulance was passing Dungarvan.
"It has been a very tough Christmas without Tom. You don't realise how difficult it is until you've gone through it. That's why we don't want any other family to suffer our kind of loss," she said.
Ms Power staged a special action march on St Stephen's Day and vowed that further marches will now be mounted to highlight the ongoing cath lab issue at Waterford.