The South, South West Hospital Group has confirmed that the emergency cardiac service hours at University Hospital Waterford will be extended to cover, 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, beginning in March.
The service currently runs from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday at the hospital.
A further commitment was also given to extend the 12 hour emergency cardiac services to seven days a week by the end of the year.
This will only be possible, however, with the hiring of an additional interventional cardiologist.
Sinn Fein’s Health spokesperson David Cullinane who attended a meeting with the Hospital Group yesterday, says we need to build capacity at UHW in order to develop the services further:
“Any extension is a step forward and what we need to so is to continue then to build the capacity to reach 24/7 service. The problem is that the hospital can’t start planning, it can’t start recruiting, it can’t even start examining expanding the cardiology team beyond what’s there unless a government decision is made regarding a 24/7 PPCI, will be provided, at the hospital.”
“The the sooner a decision in made on that the better, as then the hospital can start planning on how to recruit the additional cardiologists and it is a big undertaking as they have to increase the number of cardiologists from 5.6 to a further 5 on top of that to provide a 24/7 service and none of that work can happen until a government decision is made.”
“Hospital management have also decided to take cardiologists off the general medicine rota to free up consultants to provide more cardiac care to patients.”