Waterford politicians react to funding boost for cath lab and mortuary
Waterford politicians have been reacting to the confirmation of funding for the new mortuary unit and second cath lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW).
The projects were included as the Government unveiled the first phase its 10-year capital investment programme on Monday morning.
Sinn Féin's David Cullinane said: “I welcome the publication of the HSE Capital Plan. It is long overdue and will provide some certainty relating to a number of health projects for Waterford."
“However, the commitments for Waterford and the Southeast are largely a restatement of previous commitments. Progression of the second Cath Lab and funding for the new mortuary were announced months ago and there is little additionally in the capital plan. However, these are vital projects and I look forward to them progressing and being delivered as quickly as possible. "
“I am delighted to see the inclusion of a new daycare cataract unit in the plan. This is something I have campaigned for and have lobbied the Minister for Health and the HSE. This unit will not only see more cataract treatment done at UHW but will free up theatre space for other medical procedures."
“It seems the announcement of funding for community nursing home beds is again a restatement of existing commitments. We will need to tease what additionally for Waterford and the Southeast exists as we need to massively increase capacity in this area."
“The capital plan mentions the new Palliative Care Unit and the new acute hospital block containing 72 beds. This unit is built and what is necessary is revenue funding to recruit staff to allow it open to full capacity. This has still not been finalized and is vital to allow the new units become fully operational."
“I will go through this plan carefully to ensure that all of these announcements are followed through and delivered. We have had for too many announcements in the past that did not materialise."
“I welcome the ongoing commitment to a second Cath Lab and the new mortuary but these need to be finalized and delivered. I will continue to do my best to ensure each and every project is delivered on time and on target.”
Fianna Fáil's Mary Butler said: “I am pleased that the second cath lab in Waterford is progressing. This has been one of my main priorities over the past number of years and its inclusion in the capital plan is testament to the determination of the local Oireachtas members who have been pushing so hard to get it over the line. To see the commitment in print is a huge step forward, and I will be continuing to keep the pressure on the government to deliver on this promise."
“The plan also confirms that the project to build a replacement mortuary has now reached tender stage. It is imperative that this process proceeds without delay, as the current facilities are simply not fit for purpose."
“I am hopeful that the extensive waiting lists for ophthalmology will be reduced over the coming years, following confirmation that a new Ophthalmology Unit at UHW is now at planning stage. The current situation is completely unacceptable and I am pleased that action is now being taken."
“While some of the announcements in today’s report are almost at the completion stage – such as St. Patricks Hospital Waterford and the Palliative Care Unit (Dunmore Wing at UHW) - the emphasis now has to be on ensuring staffing levels are in place so that there can be a smooth transition for patients and staff alike."
“I am concerned that the National Children’s Hospital project overrun will have a detrimental impact on the delivery timelines of some of these capital projects and I, along with my party colleagues will be keeping pressure on Fine Gael to ensure that these important projects are delivered on time and within budget."
“I have worked extremely hard to secure the provision of the second permanent cath lab at University Hospital Waterford, and I will be monitoring its progress carefully,” concluded Deputy Butler.
Senator Paudie Coffey also reacted to the news: “I welcome the confirmation this morning that capital funding is in place for the new mortuary and second cath lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW). There were fears that the overrun in costs would affect funding committed to for UHW and I’m obviously glad that we’ve received a definitive commitment that these projects can proceed without nay doubt regarding funding.”
Separately, Senator Coffey is also lobbying behind-the-scenes in government to speed up the crucial appointments of staff for the new Palliative Care Unit at UHW.
He added: “It is essential that the doors of the new Palliative Care Unit are open as soon as possible now that it is fully built and equipped. The South East is the only region in the country without a fully dedicated palliative care unit, but now – after years of campaigning and fundraising by the Hospice movement – this vital facility is now a reality. It will be a regional centre of excellence for palliative care with the necessary support services and I look forward to opening it as soon as possible.”