Lack of Cath lab is 'murder by stealth'
Councillors were united in support of a motion calling for a second Cath lab for heart patients, at University Hospital Waterford, with one councillor going as far as to say not having a second lab is murder by stealth.
Three separate motions were brought about the need for a cath lab by the Fianna Fáil party members, Cllr Deirdre Wadding and Cllr Davy Hynes. In her motion, which was the only one to be read, Cllr Wadding called on Minister Simon Harris to acknowledge the flaws in the Herity report on foot of the tragic death of Thomas Power and to upgrade cardiac services at the hospital providing a 24/7 service for the south east region which has a population of half a million people.
Cllr Wadding, Cllr Hynes and some of the Fianna Fáil councillors attended the meeting in Leinster House on the issue recently following Mr Power's death. Cllr Wadding called for a representative from the South East Patient's Advocacy Group to attend a council meeting in the autumn.
Cllr Michael Whelan seconded the motion, saying his party was well represented at the meeting in the Dáil, even if the Fine Gael party was not. 'We need to get this cath lab sorted out,' he said.
Cllr Hynes said he was one of the lucky ones when he suffered a heart attack seven years ago. 'The south east is left behind and Wexford is one of the worst areas in the region being left behind. It's bad enough being left behind with jobs, but when it comes to life and death, it's worse.'
The motions were unanimously supported.
Cllr Ger Carthy asked for Cllr Wadding's motion to be amended to include a request for a report on the future of ambulance provision to be included, arguing that without enough ambulances and ambulance personnel, people will not be able to get to the hospital in time.
Cllr Paddy Kavanagh suggested that this warrants a separate motion, while Cllr Tony Dempsey said the cost of opening and running a second cath lab would amount to 0.01 per cent of the HSE's budget.
Cllr Anthony Kelly said: 'As one who experienced first hand a heart attack. I was sent up for a procedure but the consultant said "sorry, I have to finish, it's after 5 p.m. This is murder by stealth.'
Director of Services for Housing John Carley said: 'The minister has asked us to carry out this as part of a national review and all chief fire officers are working with planning and other sections of the council.'