Fianna Fáil Cllr Gary Wyse has called on the Government to make the right decision for the people of the South East when it meets this week to consider the Higgins Report on the future of Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH).
Last Saturday over 4,000 people took to the streets of Waterford to protest against the possible realignment of WRH, which many fear would lead to a downgrade of services.
“Last weekend’s event follows on from a similar protest in November when 15,000 people turned out in Waterford to send a clear signal to the Government that a break-up of the south east hospital network will not be tolerated,” said Cllr Wyse.
“A very important message has gone out from Waterford and I hope the Government Deputies take that message back to Dublin with them.
“It is hugely significant that the governance of WRH is retained within the hospital. This would mean that the budget would be administered from Waterford, however if the governance is realigned to Cork or elsewhere then services will automatically be diminished.
“We are hearing that the Higgins Report recommends for the hospital network to be broken up, which would be devastating for Waterford and the south east. Such a downgrade could cost the hospital 800 jobs and adversely affect the quality of service for 500,000 people living in the region.
“If certain services are re-located to Cork or another hospital, it could possibly place people’s lives at risk due to delays in patients receiving vital treatment, especially for cardiac problems. The people of Waterford have been neglected by this Government and any attempt to downgrade services at WRH will be met with fierce resistance.”