Wexford People

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Dialysis unit planning mess: elderly man has now 'given up hope'

The daughter of an elderly man who travels from Wexford to Waterford three times a week for dialysis says he has given up hoping for the building of a local unit.

'He has little faith in ever seeing it. He has just tuned out,' said the Wexford woman whose 80 year old dad was on home dialysis for three years before starting hospital dialysis in Waterford Regional Hospital three years ago.

'That's three days every week out of his life. You have elderly and very sick people making the journey to Waterford three times a week. My dad is lucky in that he doesn't have other complaints but many of the others do. I don't know if my father will ever be able to avail of a Wexford service.'

She said her father had a serious operation three years ago and was in hospital for several weeks. When he came home, his family had to wrap him up against the cold and taxi him to waterford in horrific weather conditions in the month of February.

The woman who wishes to remain anonymous described the failure to provide a renal dialysis unit in the county as 'shocking'.

'There doesn't seem to be a can-do attitude towards it. It's not a complex situation. Alternative locations were identified and why these weren't explored in the first place I don't know.'

She labelled the HSE's decision to contract the dialysis unit out to a private company as 'all wrong'.

'Why doesn't the HSE provide the service themselves. This has been going on for 10 years or more and we're no further on. We're back at the start again.'

'Why not transfer the existing tender to another location. Every day you pass by Wexford General Hospital, you see another extension being built. Why isn't the renal unit on the ever-growing campus of the hospital'.

She said it is a 'damning indictment' of Wexford politicians including Paul Kehoe, Brendan Howlin and Liam Twomey. 'They should have made sure it was built when they were in power. I'm very angry about this.'

'The reason it's not in place is because there's only 60 families involved.'

The Wexford woman said she is not convinced her father will be allowed to avail of the Wexford service when it eventually opens because it has been made clear that only half of the cohort of local patients will be facilitated and the remainder will have to continue to travel to Waterford.

HSE General Manager Richard Dooley said the dialysis unit will start initially with 25 to 30 patients and will have the capacity to expand further to treat up to 50 patients each year when required.

Clients at the Wexford unit would remain in the overall care of Consultant Nephrologists and multidisciplinary renal team of the South East regional service based at University Hospital Waterford.

Wexford People