Dáil debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation

 

12:40 pm

Photo of Matt ShanahanMatt Shanahan (Waterford, Independent)

Evidence I have received in the past ten days shows the worsening clinical situation for heart attack transfers in the south east when the Waterford cath lab is closed. In the three years from 2019 to 2022, of 134 blue-light ambulance transfers from University Hospital Waterford to Cork University Hospital, not one arrived within the 90-minute treatment window. In fact, the time from call of ambulance to Cork University Hospital patient hand-over averaged three hours and 14 minutes. A three-year audit of heart attacks by the National Office of Clinical Audit, NOCA, has just been published and supports the evidence on transfer times.

As a doctor, the Tánaiste knows well the catastrophic damage resulting from this delay to emergency cardiac intervention. Will he, as a clinician and the leader of Fine Gael in government, immediately designate University Hospital Waterford a 24-7 cardiac centre and commit the requisite funding to fulfil a 24-7 service plan?

The pending Nolan report now has overwhelming evidence from the HSE and NOCA. In the opinion of clinicians, any counter conclusions to 24-7 service delivery at University Hospital Waterford would amount to snake oil. The evidence is clear. Will the Tánaiste designate University Hospital Waterford a 24-7 cardiac care centre?

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