WRHTwo distinct options for the future of hospital services in the South East have been identified by the strategic Hospitals Review Group chaired by Professor John Higgins.
In an unexpected move, Prof Higgins travelled to Waterford last week to meet members of the South East Hospitals Action Alliance (SEHAA), which includes a number of WRH consultants and presented two scenarios to the members: that the South East hospitals remain as a separate and independent hospital grouping or that Waterford be aligned with Cork University Hospital, be designated teaching hospital status and retain its existing services but not necessarily keep control of its own budget.
Should the former option proceed, Kilkenny, Wexford and South Tipperary would all be entitled to the push for the same Grade 2 status as Waterford Regional, members of the SEHAA were told. It was stated that such a situation would rapidly become unworkable, with St Luke’s in Kilkenny most likely to seek equal status to Waterford under a South East grouping. Sources believe such a set-up would fail within a ‘couple of years’.