Waterford Fianna Fáil TD, Mary Butler has said that she is shocked at the apparent lack of interest by the Taoiseach in the delivery of 24/7 Cardiac Care in the South East.
Deputy Butler was speaking as a large protest took place outside Dáil Éireann by people and families from Waterford and the South East, and as a briefing for Oireachtas members, co-organised by herself and fellow deputy, David Cullinane saw one of the largest attendances ever.
“My Party Leader, Micheál Martin directly challenged the Taoiseach to answer for the decision sometime in 2015/2016 to completely ignore the directive to deliver 24/7 Cardiac Care through the delivery of a second cath lab.
“Yesterday in the Dáil, the Taoiseach simply didn’t have an answer. What’s startling about this acknowledgement is that the Taoiseach was the Minister for Health at the time. This is a scandalous acceptance that he had no real idea what was going on in his department or in the HSE.
“Everything was progressing as it should. There was political and clinical support for a second cath lab leading to the delivery of 24/7 Cardiac Care.
“I am concerned by the Taoiseach’s lack of awareness over the technical aspects. In the Dáil, he claimed that 24/7 Cardiac Care could be delivered with only one cath lab.
“Every medical professional will attest that at least two are needed to ensure that, for example, if there is a malfunction or if the first one is in use, a lab is available for an emergency patient presenting at the ED.
“There is clear political will across all political parties and independents, for 24/7 Cardiac Care.
“There is no reason for Waterford and the South East to wait for the national review into cardiac care to be published. The clinical need for 24/7 care was clear for all to see last week when the late Thomas Power passed away while in transit to hospital in Cork.
“The outpouring of grief on the streets of Waterford, and now today on the streets of Dublin, is proof that the people of the county and of the South East will accept nothing less than 24/7 Cardiac Care.
“Fianna Fáil is committed to delivering this service when next in Government. However, the people of Waterford should not have to wait for that to happen – Taoiseach Varadkar should insist upon it now, and deliver it,” concluded Butler.