HEFSE has given firm approval to the statement by 245 General Practitioners from South east counties which has been published by the Irish Times Newspaper this weekend.
The statement highlights the concerns of regional GPs with HSE massaging of waiting list figures and the drive to optically reduce the waiting list profile in the South East region. The GPs have pointed to the delay in implementing a 24 / 7 cardiac care service as presenting additional and undue delay to necessary cardiac treatment and disadvantaging the most vulnerable in society as the waiting list is primarily composed of public patients without access to private healthcare. They have also highlighted the sub optimal or 'second grade' treatment options that these disadvantaged patients are being offered as a result of the failure to implement a 2nd Cath lab with the requisite supporting staff in Waterford.
HEFSE is calling on Government and the Dept of Health to address this service discrimination immediately. Professor Herity in addressing the Oireachtas Health Committee last week was forced to concede that Emergency PCI and elective cardiology procedures should not be carried out in a non 24/7 service and now primary care givers who are deemed responsible in the first instance for regional healthcare are joining in supporting of the 24/7 service.
HEFSE can see no reason why in light of these public reviews of ongoing healthcare policy from regional medical experts the South East population should be disadvantaged any longer and calls on Government to implement 24/7 cardiac care planning for the South east forthwith. This to include apportioning extra funding for a second Catheterisation Laboratory at University Hospital Waterford and announcing a recruitment programme for the additional staff required.