Waterford Minister of State John Halligan has confirmed that a modular cardiac-catheterisation laboratory, which can provide both diagnostic and follow-up interventional cardiac procedures, is to be provided at University Hospital Waterford (UHW).
The new building, which will be in place next year, will address waiting times and increase capacity at UHW to provide immediate access to the main cath lab for emergency patients presenting with heart attacks.
The news follows a lengthy campaign by South East Oireachtas members to persuade Minister for Health Simon Harris of the merits of replacing the mobile lab with a modular lab.
“Minister Harris informs me that the timeframe for the development of modular builds as outlined by the HSE must include tendering, project design work, planning, commissioning and construction. Hence it will take until next year to deliver the new building. However, he has given me a commitment that funding for the modular lab, including staffing costs, will be ring-fenced in the 2019 budgetary estimates and that work will begin immediately on the process to deliver it,” Minister Halligan states.
“In the meantime, I want to reassure cardiac patients and those on the waiting list that the mobile diagnostic lab will remain on site at UHW and the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services, including the provision of 24/7 cardiac care, will continue to progress.
“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 waiting times. However, I and the other Waterford Oireachtas members have repeatedly argued that the mobile lab is limited to use for diagnostic angiograms only and a modular lab is necessary to provide facilities for more complex procedures.
“The introduction of the modular cath lab will be a welcome step forward for regional cardiac care while the campaign for a permanent second cath lab and 24/7 cardiac care for the people of the South East continues,” Minister Halligan adds.
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