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'Vastly improved' access to care for Waterford patients essential

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 'Vastly improved' access to care for Waterford patients essential

'Access to care must be a priority for new regional health areas,' says Waterford TD Mary Butler

Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler says access to care for patients must be made a priority for health chiefs in the new regional health areas.

Deputy Butler was commenting following the announcement that the HSE would be divided into six new regional health areas. Waterford is in Area C, along with Tipperary South, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow and part of South Dublin.

“While the detail on how these new health areas will function is not clear, the main priority for health bosses should be equal access to care for patients regardless of post code. The current system, which is dominated by long waiting lists, gaps in services, patients on trolleys, late discharges and an overcrowding crisis is simply not working for patients," she says. 

Deputy Butler says services in Waterford have been left behind since the alignment with the South/South West Hospital Group. "The question is will this new system deliver for Waterford?  Will it deliver 24/7 cardiac care? Will it see a reduction in people on trolleys and shorter waiting lists?  Because what we need are vastly improved services.  

“A cautious welcome from me, however the devil will be in the detail. This latest initiative will be judged solely on how it delivers for patients in Waterford and across the South East," she adds.