People in Waterford are being urged to turn up in their thousands to show their support for cardiac services in the South East at a special march tomorrow.
Three campaign groups – the South East Patient Advocacy Group, Health Equality for the South East (HEFSE) and 24/7 Cardiac Cover for the South East – are calling on people in the south east to join with them for the “Have a Heart” protest at 2.15 p.m. from The Williamstown Centre adjacent to WLR to march to University Hospital Waterford.
The march has been called by the combined three groups to protest at what they describe as the government’s continued refusal to implement 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford for over 500,000 people who rely on the service in the south east region.
It comes as figures released this week show patients are now waiting for up to five months for interventional procedures in Waterford.
Deputy Cullinane says 469 diagnostic angiograms were performed in the mobile lab over an 18 week period from the 2nd of October 2017 to February 1st, and it is expected that a further 48 patients will have their procedure in the Mobile Cath Lab until February 14th.
According to the figures obtained by the Sinn Fein TD, the conversion rate for patients who were found to require further intervention is approx. 28.5% i.e. 134 patients and these patients will have their procedure carried out in the main Cath Lab. The current waiting time for interventional procedures is 4 to 5 months.
David Cullinane says it proves we need a second permanent cath lab which can tackle the diagnostic waiting list and the list of those waiting for intervention:
“All we can do is hope that the data that is coming from the mobile lab will now influence Government especially in terms of the National Review”
Deputy Cullinane says it’s important that people support the march:
“Any movement we’ve had on this issue in the south east, if you remember the mobile lab was announced just before the last march. Any mobilisation puts pressure on the government, we saw in the Dail this week the Taoiseach conceded the mobile lab may have to stay in the hospital a while longer.”