Thursday, 20th September 2018
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South East is only Cath Lab restricted to 39hr operating week

The Cardiac PPCI centre at UHW remains the only national centre of 6 designated restricted to a single Interventional Cath Lab and no 24/7 access - The Dublin Metropolitan Cath lab count is now 9 Public labs with an additional lab under construction and 11 Private Cath Labs, that will be 21 Cath Labs for a population of 1.2 million - The South East endures a single Cath Lab restricted to a 39 HR OPERATING WEEK!

Health Equality South East (HEFSE) has been advised that the Modular Interventional Lab solution that was available and proposed to the Minister on January 10th 2018 to include a full comprehensive business plan for a 5 day working week with full cardiac interventional capability including PCI and acute STEMI patient treatment is no longer available to UHW - this option has been taken by the UK NHS system.This was a specific and distinct risk of continuing delay by Dept which we in HEFSE outlined and warned all deputies about in the South East. This loss of this Modular Interventional Lab is as a result of the disgraceful, deliberate and complete obstruction by Dept Officials to ensure that no additional interventional cardiac capacity could be implemented at UHW in the interim. That patient care, patient safety and possible life saving interventional capacity is being denied the people of the South East region is a stain in our opinion on the reputations of those elected to serve and represent the needs of South East Citizens. We would remind people that the Government is spending 2 MILLION euro per annum to keep a mobile diagnostic cardiac unit in place at UHW until the proposed national review is completed - A diagnostic unit that can do nothing to intervene to save a life. The modular Interventional Cath lab was available to the South East at a total annual increased cost of 130,000 euro over the cost of this passive diagnostic unit - 130,000 euro more p.a. to operate 5 days and obliterate the waiting lists in the South East and provide enhanced out of hours cover, and this could not be delivered politically! We understand that a further option of a modular lab has been given to the HSE for earliest deployment in Sept/Oct 2018 - but the commercial company involved requires a signed contract within one week to secure or will open to NHS procurement also.

We in HEFSE lay the blame squarely for the inability to politically fix this disgraceful discriminatory practice by unaffected, unelected officials in the Department of Health at the feet of our regional politicians. They stand in leadership positions and yet continue to take no meaningful political action despite the clear evidence on the ground of 'health apartheid' against a vulnerable population in the South East. TDs aligned with Government parties who continue to be placated by possible promises of goodwill on the part of the present health minister and those who committed to delivering a 24/7 service pre the last election we believe need to look even deeper at their stance to date and should question their support of 'party over people' and 'government before all'.

Whatever their future ambitions we in the South East will not stop fighting for our right to equity in this matter and neither will we politically forget!

Signed Matt Shanahan

PRO - Health Equality For the South East


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