Friday, 19th January 2018
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Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane has welcomed comments from a leading Cardiologist Mr Paddy Owens at University Hospital Waterford that wait times for planned work has reduced as a consequence of the deployment of a mobile Cath Lab.

However he said we need to be cautious and vigilant when it comes to a planned national review and examine the terms of reference thoroughly.

Speaking today Deputy Cullinane said:

"It is good news that wait times for planned cardiac procedures at University Hospital Waterford have reduced. It is my understanding that this is down to both the deployment of a mobile Cath Lab and ongoing outsourcing of patients to Cork.

"While this is good news we need to be vigilant and not conflate issues. The Herity Report recognised the long wait times for planned work at University Hospital Waterford and recommended as a solution greater collaboration between hospitals in the South/South West Group. Essentially this meant more patients from the South East outsourced to hospitals in Cork and Dublin.

"The issue in contention is the provision of 24/7 emergency care otherwise known as PPCI. The mobile lab is not providing any emergency care. It is providing diagnostic assessments and doing planned work only.

"Any national review focused on extending PPCI will focus on deficits in PPCI only. This is the critical area that will be under scrutiny. This is what underpinned the Herity Report. We need to make sure that the terms of reference of a national review is aimed at greater numbers of patients availing of PPCI on a 24/7 basis in their regional hospitals, that it examines the full range of travel times and recognises the regional disparities.

"We also need to understand the role that the Department, the HSE and the Acute Coronary Syndrome Programme will play in influencing the report.

"Any national review needs to be independent, work to a fair and clearly defined terms of reference and consult widely with all stakeholders. We need to get this right for the South-East so that we get the best outcome."

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