Saturday, 18th August 2018
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With Breda Gardner Homeopath, lcph, mcos, rgn

Health Therapies Clinic

13 Gladstone Street, Waterford.

Tel: 087 2025753.

Insight Natural Health Clinic

15 Upper Patrick St, Kilkenny

Tel: 056 7724429

Power to the people

I am just back home from the protest march campaigning for 24 x 7 cardiac care. Despite the chilly weather, and despite the Ireland rugby match being on at the same time, thousands of people turned up to remind our local and national politicians that we will not cease until we have the proper cardiac care services that we deserve in the South East.

It was wonderful to see support from all our neighbouring counties too – more and more people are coming to the realisation that our politicians have got this one terribly wrong.

There were some terrific and moving speeches on the day – people literally speaking from the heart. Catherine Power and Breffni Power both talked movingly of losing loved ones because of the lack of proper cardiac services in the South East. Willie Doyle of 24/7 Cardiac Cover for the South East and Matt Shanahan of Health Equality for the South East spoke of how the system is failing us. UHW Cardiologist John O’Dea spoke out in support of the need for 24/7. And Hilary O’Neill, chair of the South East Patients Advocacy Group, underlined how our human rights and our equality rights are being violated in the South East.

"Access to 24/7 cardiac care is not a privilege, it is a right. No other regional hospital’s cath lab shuts down in the evening and at weekends." Hilary also spoke out on behalf of those who live in fear of having a heart attack after 5pm or at weekends.

I find it utterly incomprehensible that Leo Varadkar continues to sit on his hands. As a medical doctor himself, he must know that the first 60 minutes after a heart attack are the most critical. If you are in an ambulance that takes at least 90 minutes, and probably longer, to reach the hospital, then your chances of survival are greatly reduced. You don’t need a long winded report or a flawed review to tell you that. Yet the Taoiseach and his Minister of Health are still unable or unwilling to accept that simple truth.

Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris would do well to remember what happened with the proposed introduction of water charges. Labour were decimated in the last election, and a major reason for that was their support of this unpopular tax. I truly believe that many local politicians will face a similar fate in the next election for promising pre-election to implement 24/7, and then failing miserably to deliver when elected. No wonder that most politicians have such a bad name.

The funny thing is, it’s not too late to do the right thing. Minister Harris and Taoiseach Varadkar should take the bull by the horns and implement 24/7 right now! – and who knows, it might even be a great voter winner for them!

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