Contingencies needed if University Hospital Waterford cath lab closes for 12 weeks, says Mary Butler TD
Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler says contingencies must be in place if the National Equipment Replacement Programme results in the temporary closure of the cath lab in University Hospital Waterford (UHW).
Deputy Butler says the potential 12-week closure of the cath lab is "massively concerning" and that it presses the need for the HSE to expedite the procurement of a second cath lab. "The current situation of 9am-5pm cardiac cover on a five day a week basis is a constant concern and to add to this, we may now have no intervention care for up to 12 weeks," she tells WaterfordLive.ie.
“While the replacement programme is necessary, the focus now has to be on what contingences will be put in place, how will they be communicated, and how will the management restore patient confidence.
“With the mobile unit only fitted to do exploratory work, full cath lab services could be missing for 12 weeks in UHW. Understandably, I have been contacted by constituents who are deeply concerned about the lapse in service but also maddened as they had to hear this news from the media," she continues.
“Public confidence is seriously eroded. If the Government wants to make this second cath lab a priority, they would have done by now.
“I am calling on the Minister for Health [Simon Harris] to ensure contingency plans are in place in the event we do have a closure of the existing cath lab. He must also put pressure on his officials in the Department of Health to see progress in expediting the second cath lab for the region, which is now at design stage,” she adds.