Second cath lab at Waterford hospital will be built early next year: Taoiseach
The second Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) will go tender over the coming days and is expected to start construction early in 2021, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed.
Despite these assurances, Waterford Independent TD Matt Shanahan has called for a review of funding for all model-4 hospitals in Ireland, of which UHW is one, in the wake of the ongoing delays in the provision of the lab to serve the South East.
The Taoiseach this week the Martin provided a timeline for the new cath lab while being pressed on the issue by Deputy Shanahan. He confirmed the project will go to tender by the end of September and should break ground early next year.
Mr Martin said the build should take 12 months and the lab should be ready by early 2022. He said the provision of the lab had been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil: “The preferred option is a second Cath Lab and associated 12-bed day ward, which would deliver six additional beds on the roof of the existing Cardiology Department.”
Deputy Shanahan questioned the Taoiseach as to the timelines involved with this project and queried if the same delays and funding issues occur at the other seven hospitals of UHW’s stature (Model-4) across the country.
“University Hospital Waterford is the most underfunded of the eight model-4 hospitals in the country,” Deputy Shanahan said, “yet it is one of the busiest in output terms. University Hospital Limerick has a smaller patient catchment than UHW but has 700 more care staff.
“When will the Government recognise the budget deficits at the hospital and when will it receive a funding allocation on par with the other model-4 hospitals? When will University Hospital Waterford have funding on par with the other seven model-4 hospitals in the country?” Deputy Shanahan asked before calling for an independent review into the funding of all model-4 hospitals in Ireland.
Responding to Deputy Shanahan’s questions, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he had no objections to an independent review of the funding of the hospitals and said: “In terms of the broader issue of model 4 hospital funding, an ongoing assessment will be undertaken that will include the question of funding for Waterford and its needs and demands.”