Minister Stephen Donnelly has committed to meeting all four Sligo/Leitrim TDs to discuss the closure of the Cath Lab at Sligo University Hospital (SUH).
The issue of the Cath Lab closure at SUH has been raised in recent days in the Dáil by TDs from the constituency.
The Minister responded that “hospital management have proposals in place for a Cath Lab, be it for diagnostics and or for intervention, there’s clinical views required on that.”
Deputy Marian Harkin commented: “This is welcome news, but we need to hear the detail. What are these plans, how have they progressed – when can heart patients expect to see a Cath Lab service re-instated?
“Unfortunately, our experience with HSE reports in this area is not good. Back in 2013 HSE North West drafted a review of the cardiac services in the North West. They recommended that there should be a permanent service put in place in SUH, yet we see there was just a two-day week service instated and now that has been withdrawn.
“Furthermore, we know that the location of a Cath Lab at SUH will have implications for the employment of an additional cardiologist at the hospital. This, in itself, is a really serious issue for cardiac services and in fact it was raised in Dail Eireann by Deputy Eamon Scanlon back in 2018. Four years down the line the Cath Lab service is closed but the issues around the employment of cardiologists remain”.
“In order to ensure a sustainable Cath Lab service in Sligo, SUH must be fully included in the National Review of Cardiac Services. Minister Donnelly in his response assured me that the entire country is included but, that tells me nothing about whether or not these services will be located at SUH.
This review is crucial because it will be the basis for Government policy on cardiac services for the next 5 to 10 years and we need specific guarantees from the Minister that cardiac services will be provided at Sligo University Hospital on a par with other parts of the country and that we will not be left in the current situation that north of a line from Dublin to Galway, there is no Cath Lab service available to cardiac patients,” Deputy Harkin concluded.