Waterford is set to recieve its own modular cardio-catheterisation laboratory which can provide both diagnostic and follow-up interventional cardiac procedures at University Hospital Waterford.
Welcoming the decision and speaking to Eamon on Déise Today Minister Halligan said:
“I have been informed by Minister Harris that he agrees with the argument put forward by south-east Oireachtas members that there is merit in the proposal for a modular cath lab at UHW in order to address waiting times at the hospital, increase capacity to provide immediate access to the main cath lab for emergency patients presenting with heart attacks and provide a better service for the people of the region.”
Deputy Halligan believes that when in operation, the modular cath lab operating alongside the existing cath lab will significantly improve cardiac waiting lists in the South-east.
“There is no doubt that the mobile cath lab which has been in place since last October has had a significant impact on the diagnostic waiting list, helping to considerably reduce the elective waiting list numbers and wait times. The total number of patients waiting in January 2017 was 670 but, by January 2018, this had been reduced to around 370. Whereas many patients were previously waiting up to 18 months for a diagnostic angiogram, now the majority of patients are waiting 0-3 months.”
He said despite mobile cath labs success, it is limited to use for diagnostic angiograms and does not provide facilities for more complex procedures.
“Of the patients who received diagnostic angiograms, around 30% require follow-on procedures and the increased number of people who received a diagnosis in the mobile lab has hugely increased the pressure on capacity in the main cath lab. That’s why myself and other southeast Oireachtas members have been working together to persuade Minister Harris of the merits in replacing the mobile lab with a modular lab that can cater for both diagnostic and interventional procedures.”
Re-assuring cardiac patients and those on the waiting list he said:
“While the modular cath lab is going through a procurement process, the mobile lab will remain on site at UHW and the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services will continue to progress.”
The Minister also noted both the mobile lab and the modular lab are short-term solutions to address wait times in the south-east whilst simultaneously demonstrating the demand for increased services.
“The real goal always has been – and remains – a second permanent cath lab and the provision of 24/7 cardiac care at UHW,” said the Waterford TD.
Listen to Minister Halligan’s interview with Eamon below.