Politicians must not lose sight of the core issue when it comes to the pursuit of 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford.
That's the message from a local campaigner - following a war of words on the issue between Deputy Matt Shanahan and Minister Mary Butler last week.
Speaking to WLR News, Willie Doyle of the '24/7 Cardiac Care for the South-East' campaign group outlined the seriousness of the current situation at UHW.
"One of the most serious things that can happen to anyone is to have a heart attack," he said.
"At UHW we have two fully equipped cath labs but the problem is they are closed for over half the time which means that if someone has a heart attack at the weekend, or after hours on a weekday, they have to be transported by ambulance to Cork. It's such a pity to think the equipment is at the hospital but locked away."
Following a positive announcement regarding Waterford Airport on Friday, Willie says achieving a 24/7 cardiac service at UHW should be the next aim.
"Now that we've had positive news, we will hopefully have more visitors coming to Waterford in the not too distant future. We should aim to deliver this service in the New Year and not drag it on and on and on."
He added: "We should have and must have a full 24/7 service here and we should not have to transfer seriously ill patients to Cork."
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