Retired Consultant despairs over UHW Cardiac Care fudge
A retired Consultant Ophthalmologist and cardiac care campaigner has described the current Government as ineffective and unwilling when it comes to the delivery of 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford (UHW). Speaking to The Munster Express, Dr Paddy Condon said it was “sadly all too clear that our message is falling on deaf ears,” adding that “we’re going nowhere at all with this Government when it comes to this”. Dr Condon was reacting to the news, broken last week by the Waterford News & Star in relation to a report completed in June by Galway cardiologist Professor Kieran Daly on behalf of the Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) Steering Group. Prof Daly’s findings appeared to consolidate a viewpoint which has been stated time and time again by regional campaign groups: that UHW is worthy of round the clock, appropriately funded cardiology services, including a second interventional Cath Lab. But, as Dr Condon stated, the cogent and coherent argument which has been made regionally on this issue for several years has clearly been lost or just ignored by both the Department of Health and the HSE.
Cardiac campaigner Dr Paddy Condon is "appalled" at the ongoing inaction over 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford.
“We seem to be reduced to talking to ourselves about this, which really is disgraceful when you consider what’s at stake here and what it means for patients and their families,” he said.
“We’re not being listened to at all and to be at this point, in 2018, where no meaningful progress has been made shows that the people empowered to make these decisions just don’t appear to care or are simply disinterested about the adequate and necessary provision of cardiac care services in the South East.” Dr Condon added: “Patients from Waterford are continuing to be transferred to Cork for treatment they ought to be receiving at UHW, and there’s a concerted push to transfer more and more patients from Wexford and South Kilkenny to access Dublin-based services – the regional element of this cannot and must not be forgotten. This is not just a Waterford issue. And what many cardiac patients continue to be put through simply makes no sense. There are 20 cath labs at present in Dublin (with the prospect of two more to be added to that tally) and just one here in the South East. And that’s absolutely scandalous. We’ve gotten nowhere with this Government about an issue which is medically inarguable. We’ve been grossly disserved by successive Ministers, including the current incumbent who, in my view, is a spoofer. This Government is failing miserably when it comes to housing and things are no better when it comes to health. And it doesn’t look like we’re going to get out of this loop anytime soon. It really is appalling.”
Dr Condon also took issue with Waterford’s four sitting TDs in relation to their role on the issue, adding: “Where’s the alternative? If there was an election next week, I cannot see how anything would change politically as no strong alternative candidate has emerged in Waterford. On top of that, the absence of a strong senior voice in cabinet when it comes to 24/7 cardiac care for this region has clearly had a negative impact for several years now and it’s very disappointing to conclude that where we’re at currently is where we’re going to be for quite some time to come. That doesn’t mean we’re going to give up on the campaign, far from it, but as long as the persisting health strategy is hell-bent on downgrading regional care and promoting only the centres of excellence in Dublin, Cork and Galway, this clear and unjust inequality will remain. And that really is disgraceful.”