Waterford Fianna Fáil Cllr Gary Wyse says the party will raise the issue of the downgrading of Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH) in the Dáil this week and put pressure on the Government to reverse any plans to inflict this on the people of the south east.

Cllr Wyse was speaking after a meeting held in Waterford last Thursday revealed there is a proposal that WRH be downgraded to a county hospital, which would severely affect the quality of services on offer at the hospital as well as placing hundreds of jobs at risk.

Cllr Wyse commented: “After the meeting last Thursday, which was called by consultants from all disciplines at WRH, it was confirmed that a report will go to Minister James Reilly in the next few weeks recommending that WRH be down graded to a county hospital.

“I have spoken to our Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher, who will raise this issue in the Dáil as a matter of urgency this week. We need answers from the Minister as to what his plans for Waterford are.

“WRH needs to be retained as a major regional hospital and we will vigorously oppose any attempts to downgrade or reduce services at the hospital. Any changes to the status of WRH will not just adversely impact the people of Waterford but the wider south east region including Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wexford.

“Fianna Fáil was always strong in its commitment to WRH. Among the additional services we provided in Waterford was a new endoscopy unit and an upgrade of the ambulance base. WRH was also chosen as one of the locations for the national cancer control programme and with a catchment area of 500,000, it is vitally important that WRH retains its existing services.”