Sunday, 23rd September 2018
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A guide to people in Waterford, Wexford, South Tipperary & South Kilkenny as to whether to support South East Cardiac Protest March on February 10 by HEFSE

The three cardiac campaign groups in South East are combining to co-ordinate 'Have A Heart’ protest day February 10th in Waterford city.

We provide 6 facts regarding the cardiac service and the recent review implemented by the Dept of Health. We hope these facts may help to inform readers as to whether they should support the protest day on February 10th and indeed the wider south east region cardiac campaign service into the future.

The 6 factual statements provided by HEFSE and are based on available HSE and Dept of Health information as well as information unearthed in a recent FOI request and published in national media.

HEFSE suggests readers who are positively disposed to answers provided may feel bound to stay away on the planned protest day and remain in self imposed blissful ignorance until their turn comes to interact with the regional cardiac service. All others who oppose the answers given, we hope will feel motivated to support the protest march and the campaign to have our regional cardiac services placed on par with all others in the country.

Factual Statement 1

The South East is the only region nationally where the regional cardiac centre is closed to access after 5pm each weekday evening and entirely on weekends – 'out of hours’ emergencies from the region therefore have to travel to centres in Dublin or Cork to receive critical cardiac care - You answer - A 2 hour delay in receiving emergency and /or critical care is unimportant for you or family members - feel free to stay away!

Factual Statement 2

The South East has the highest number of cardiac inpatients in Waterford, Wexford, South Tipperary, South Kilkenny (confined to hospital) nationally trying to access a diagnostic for cardiac disease - You answer - You or your family members have not been confined to hospital for cardiac assessment to date, nobody has intimated it may be a possibility in the future for you - therefore stay away!

Factual Statement 3

The South East region has the highest number of cardiac out patients (on hospital waiting list for an appointment having been referred by GP) nationally trying to access cardiac review and diagnostic testing for possible cardiac issue or disease - You answer - You or your family members are not on the waiting list, are not worried about the lack of access or the delays of 12 - 18 months for an appointment to be seen - you can stay away!

Factual Statement 4

The single Cath Lab service at UHW means that if you arrive as an emergency admission from the region and there is an existing patient procedure ongoing in the Cath Lab someone has to wait - in either case one patient’s care is being compromised - You answer -You feel this is unlikely to impact you now or in the future because it has not happened to you or a family member before - you can stay away!

Factual Statement 5

The South East region has the highest numbers nationally on an Emergency Priority Waiting list (Over 400 patients) who have identified cardiac disease and need to access critical intervention in the single 39 hrs per week Cath Lab service – they compete daily with unscheduled emergency admissions as well as the growing referral list because of the constrained service - You answer You or your family members are not on that list at the moment and you feel fine at present - you can stay away!

Factual statement 6

A recent Freedom Of Information release demonstrates the deliberate steering of a review report by the Dept of Health to completely undermine the case for expanded south east region cardiac services – such steering includes ignoring and deliberately underestimating the total cardiac service requirement, the 66% referral out of the region because of lab constraint, deliberate ignoring of the highest regional waiting lists nationally, deliberately distorting the population requiring access to the South East service and deliberate ignoring of advice and reports from the national clinical cardiac group lead - You Answer - Deliberate and concealed interference in supposedly 'Independent and objective’ Government sponsored reviews causes you no unease whatsoever and you are happy to accept any information made available by Government departments and reviewers without question - As said you may happily stay away!

You may also choose to remain in blissful self imposed ignorance until your turn comes to interact with the regional cardiac service. Your opportunity to have any say in your regional cardiac care service or resulting health welfare in the future will have long since passed and you can spend your hospital waiting time writing letters of concern to elected representatives who will advise you that nothing further can be done on your behalf! For all those others in the region who access Wexford General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny, South Tipperary General Hospital and University Hospital Waterford but who depend on and demand a regional accessible cardiac care service in the South East we hope you will come and support the 'Have A Heart’ protest march because you like us demand health equality for our region and our citizens.

For more info see Health Equality For the South East.


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