SECURING greater cardiac services at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) has now moved a step backwards, according to a local Councillor.
Due to a staffing issue, the hospital’s vascular lab, which carries out non-invasive diagnostic studies, is currently not in operation.
Doctors use information gathered through the vascular lab to confirm a diagnosis and determine a course of treatment.
A spokesperson for the South South West Hospital Group told The Munster Express: “The vascular laboratory in UHW provides non-invasive diagnostic studies and tests to assist in the diagnosis of different clinical conditions. These studies form only part of the diagnostic process. Due to a resignation, this diagnostic service will be temporarily unavailable in UHW. The hospital is actively engaged in recruiting a replacement Vascular Physiologist and a candidate has been sourced. Every effort is being made to expedite the process. All patients will be scheduled for their test as soon as the vascular lab re-opens.”
Cllr John Hearne (SF), who described the vascular lab as a “vital component of the hospital”, says many questions remain unanswered and has highlighted the overall impact on the hospital including on the quest for 24/7 cardiac care. He believes some UHW patients may now need to travel to Cork for treatment. “Many of those who require the services of the vascular lab are elderly and could end up having to travel to Cork,” he said.Cllr Hearne said the closure of the lab is “an absolute disgrace” and says recruitment issues at UHW must be addressed.