Cllr Marie Murphy, Minister Simon Harris, Cllr Joe Burke and Mary Newman Julian at Fine Gael's Árd Fheis
The ongoing campaign to secure 24/7 cath lab services at University Hospital Waterford was on the agenda at Fine Gael's Árd Fheis.
Tipperary Fine Gael candidate Mary Newman Julian and Clonmel councillor Marie Murphy were among a delegation from the South East who raised the issue of cath lab services at University Hospital Waterford with Minister for Health Simon Harris.
The hospital is currently a designated cardiac centre but only has one cath lab that is open five days a week from 8:30am to 5pm.
"Minister Harris confirmed that funding was provided in 2017, this year and also for 2019 to extend the opening hours of the cath lab. However, this has not occurred due to recruitment issues," Mary Newman Julian tells Waterford Live.
Funding has also been allocated for a second cath lab, with a site identified in the hospital grounds and planning permission is expected to be applied for in the coming months.
There is currently a National Cardiac Review underway, which will review the density, distribution and need of cardiac services across the country. The outcome of this review will indicate the need or otherwise for the provision of 24/7 cath lab services in Waterford and elsewhere in the country.
“A second cath lab is essential for the provision of 24/7 services, as a backup lab is required to ensure continuity and availability of care. The progress on the second cath lab in 2019 will ensure that if the outcome of the National Cardiac Review is to recommend 24/7 cath lab services, then University Hospital Waterford will be in a position to provide the service when required,” Mary Newman Julian adds.