January 24, 2021

24/7 Cardiac Care group calls on Waterford people to reject ‘programme for government’

A local lobby group is calling on those in Waterford who have a say in voting on the ‘Programme for Government’ to reject the proposal as our elected representative have “once again left down” the people of the South East.

The South East Patient Advocacy Group (SEPAG) who have campaigned tirelessly for 24/7 Cardiac Cover for the South East have called on the local members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and The Green Party to reject the vote on the programme for government later this week.

SEPAG say the details within the programme for government fail to address the 24/7 cardiac cover issue at University Hospital Waterford. At best SEPAG believe this programme for government will only provide an 8am-8pm service.

The pressure group has attacked all the local representatives elected to Dáil and Seanad Eireann recently saying they have not acted on their campaign promises. SEPAG say all those elected said they would secure 24/7 Cardiac Care at UHW as part of their election campaign,

In a statement released SEPAG said: “We are all very shocked and disheartened having now seen the proposed programme for government and the glaring omission of the provision of 24/7 cardiac care at UHW.

“All three parties of FF, FG and the Greens have now been involved in negotiating the proposed programme for government and 24/7 is not even mentioned in it,” they said.

The group expressed their frustrations towards TDs Fianna Fáil’s Mary Butler and The Green Party’s Marc O’Cathasaigh and Fine Gael Senator John Cummins, all whose party’s are involved in the government formation talks.

They also expressed their disappointment at those who are opposition at this time, Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane and Independent TD Matt Shanahan, who they say could have been more vocal on the issue.

“We have once again been left down collectively by the people elected to represent us who were in a prime position to achieve the implementation of this vital service.

“We would remind people to be very mindful that the provision of the second cath lab at UHW is absolutely no guarantee of the delivery of a 24/7 service. Until the government categorically announces the implementation of 24/7 we are getting nothing as the cath lab was already signed off.

“This 8 – 8 half service that the HSE is intending to implement at UHW is not what we were promised. Remember too, no other acute category 4 hospital in the country has been forced to wait in excess of 10 years for this vital life-saving full 24/7 service.

“We were also very surprised to see the HSE recently removed the modular lab from UHW which gives us a fair idea of their intent. This is in spite of the fact that the cath lab at UHW is currently being upgraded and so it is out of commission whilst the waiting lists for cardiac diagnostics and procedures are once again mounting in the southeast.

“We are now jointly calling on our local FF, FG and Green Party councillors and grassroots members who can vote on the programme for government to vote against it unless 24/7 is immediately made an unambiguous integral part of the document,” SEPAG concluded.

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