A call went out this week from Waterford City Council for the Health Minister and HSE to implement a Stroke Strategy to greatly enhance survival prospects and rehabilitation standards.
Proposing a motion to that effect at Monday night’s Council meeting, Cllr Mary Roche said the lives of up to 500 more stoke sufferers per year could be saved and the quality of life improved for thousands of others.
She said strokes were the third biggest killer in Ireland and research by The Irish Heart Foundation had produced startling information on the subject. There was only one hospital in the country providing top class diagnosis and treatment of the condition and that was in Dun Laoghaire and any victims who failed to gain prompt access to facilities there were at a considerable disadvantage.
It was particularly significant for under 50’s because they stood an excellent chance of full recovery with proper treatment.
Supporting her, Cllr John Halligan said the matter was very close to his heart because his father suffered a very severe stroke some years ago.
It was a dreadful situation that in some instances people were left four to six weeks before getting the attention they needed – during that time irreparable damage could be done.
He called also for a pre-emptive stroke programme, which had proved very successful in other countries, reducing the number of victims by as much as one-third. Under such a system, the most common causes of strokes would be monitored and treated.
Cllr Cha O’Neill complimented Cllr Roche for raising the issue, describing her motion as one of the most important ever to come before the Council.
A copy is to be sent to other local authorities for support and also top the Minister for Health.