Sunday, 17th December 2017
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South Tipperary General Hospital leaving the South/Southwest hospital group - a disaster for UHW

Dear editor

Responding to leaks and rumblings that South Tipperary General Hospital will move from the South/Southwest hospital group to the University of Limerick Group, Sinn Fein TD for Waterford David Cullinane said such a move would be a disaster for University Hospital Waterford.

Speaking tonight Deputy Cullinane said:

"This has been a goal of Michael Noonan's for some time and it may well be a parting gift. I am slow to respond to leaks and rumours but we need to react get clarification and get it fast.

"Aligning St Luke's in Kilkenny and Wexford General Hospital with hospitals in Dublin has already seen a shift in patient referral away from Waterford to Dublin, a call I made at the time of the reconfiguration and establishment of new hospital groups.

"To lose South Tipperary General Hospital from the Group would be a major setback. The clinical pathway for referrals from South Tipperary is to Waterford and to a lesser extent Cork depending on the service. If this is a done deal it will mean three of the four hospitals in the old South Eastern Hospital Group will no longer be aligned to Waterford leaving UHW isolated and a mere adjutant to Cork.

"The slow and gradual flow of patients away from UHW will continue with a potential loss of services. It may not happen in a week, or month or even a year but it is the logical outcome over a period of time. It also comes at a time that the South East region is battling for enhanced cardiology services.

"The entire reconfiguration process has been a set back for Waterford and will be a disaster if this rumour becomes reality. I should say that senior sources at UHW have confirmed that this is a live possibility and that it represents a threat to patient referrals to the hospital.

Yours,

David Cullinane TD.

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