September 23, 2023

South East 24/7 cardiac care campaign group splits in row over non-political ethos

A community advocacy group that has campaigned tirelessly to bring about a 24/7 cardiac care service for Waterford and the South East has come publicly out to stress they remain non-political.

A statement released by the South East Patient Advocacy Group (SEPAG) said the group unfortunately splintered and has been sidelined in recent talks about the provision of 24/7 cardiac care.

They put this down to the refusal of some members to stand by the non-political ethos of the group and acting without the granted permission of the group.

“SEPAG was set up by a group of ordinary people,” the SEPAG statement said, “concerned about the hospital network break up and loss of investment into services at University Hospital Waterford (UHW), plus the failure of the Health Service Executive (HSE) to implement a 24/7 cardiac care service for the people of the South East region.

“It was unanimously agreed by all founding members that the most important ethos of SEPAG was that we would be a non-political community-based people led campaign – a voice for all. We were willing to work with anybody for the benefit of the campaign as long as they respected our people led non-political stance.

“In spite of our best efforts to keep the group ethos intact, the campaign was sadly splintered and led down a political route.

“We are once again being forced to watch the campaign being kicked around like a political football by-election candidates promising people the sun, moon and stars for their vote knowing they cannot deliver what people want and need.

“SEPAG will remain the people’s campaign group and we intend to keep our campaign non-political.

“We hope people will continue to support the campaign for equity of access to vital services and 24/7 at UHW long after the elections are over,” the statement concluded.

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