Saturday, 23rd September 2017
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As we all return to normal routine in the aftermath of the school holiday period. Councillors Mulligan (FF) and Griffin (SF) are unified in challenging the Government’s senior representatives in Waterford, Minister John Halligan and John Deasy TD, to accurately define timelines for the initiation of the Independent National Review of Primary Cardio Services. In particular 24/7 emergency services which were agreed in July.

Given the timeline delays in the deployment of the mobile catheterization laboratory, this was approved on the 8th May 2017, but was not formally instructed for tender until 12th June, both Cllrs have grave cause for concern. The upshot is that there will be a delayed operational start date, which has now moved to the first week in October, according to recent reports.

Both Mulligan and Griffin are determined that this Government must specify committed timelines and reassure the people of Waterford and the South East, that this report is not being kicked down the road.

According to Cllr Mulligan, “We have a clear case of seeing constantly moving goal posts! There is a very real possibility, if we are not careful, that our hospital health issues may well have to await a new Government. Such is the utter lack of urgency coming from our TDs Halligan and Deasy. Just where have they been during the summer recess? Should they not have been working flat out on this issue?

We were promised one date after another by Minister Halligan and if truth be told I, along with many other Waterford people are reminded of the children’s story “The Boy who cried Wolf”, whenever we hear our Minister speak on this issue. As he has said himself, on many an occasion, the time for talking is over and the implementation of months old promises are necessary. For the people who have tirelessly campaigned, marched on the streets of Waterford and Dublin, this Minister and his sitting FG colleague have undoubtedly abandoned Waterford and the region!”

As the mobile laboratory will not operate outside 9am to 5pm or at the weekend, Cllrs Mulligan and Griffin declare that the facility will do absolutely nothing to address the emergency 24/7 cover. The securing of a mobile laboratory is merely intended to tackle the substantial lengthy waiting lists the hospital has accumulated.

“More than ever, as we enter the last quarter of 2017, our Waterford Minister must give an update on the assemblage of the terms of reference,” according to Cllr Griffin.

“The debacle we had to observed with the previous Herity Report must not be allowed to happen once again. Any future report must have solid foundations, so that we the people of Waterford, our politicians, the health service, the doctors, the consultants and all other stakeholders can stand over the findings when they are eventually published. The simplest most basic of information, such as will ALL relevant stakeholders be contacted, has not been forthcoming. This utter lack of communication, which seems to now be endemic, caused significant problems with Herity’s findings.

Minister Halligan has to be proactive to, at the very least, ensure the next report is methodical in gather pertinent information, to make educated, important recommendations.”

On 13th July Minister Harris stated preparations would begin immediately, with an international expert being appointed to lead the review. Cllrs Mulligan and Griffin want to know, on behalf of their electorate and Waterford’s people, have the terms of reference been compiled? Has an international expert been appointed to lead the review? If not, when will he or she be announced as leading the review?

Well know 24/7 campaigner Willie Doyle added, “All of our TDs are in agreement that the South East must have full 24/7 cardiac cover. Yet, they are willing to turn their backs on the fatalities and distress that the lack of service causes, in order to keep their position in the Dáil. It is a national disgrace that the 500,000 people, in this region, are deprived of adequate cardiac care. To add insult to injury, Rescue 117 has ceased inter-hospital transfers from last Monday. There is now a widening chasm between our elected representatives and the public. The spirit of complacency demonstrated by our TDs is sickening. It’s a simple message. They must deliver this now or resign. We need fewer professional politicians and more who have a genuine vested interest in the people that they represent.”

“Timelines, timelines, timelines are what the people of Waterford, the South East and wider region want, need and deserve. NOT the skilful kicking of the can further down the road!” stated both Cllrs Mulligan and Griffin.

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