Cross one’s heart: Second cath lab for South East set to go to tender in July
The long-awaited second Cardiac Cath Lab in for the South East is set to go to tender in July while the refurbishment of the existing lab should be completed by summer’s end.
At present, there is only a mobile Cath Lab service available in University Hospital Waterford(UHW) which operates just three days a week. The HSE have been employing the services of the private UPMC Whitfield Clinic cardiac cath lab to deal with other cases arising.
Despite the welcome news on the construction of the labs, there is still no clarity on when 24/7 cardiac care will be available to patients in the South East.
The Department of Health confirmed the timelines to recently elected Waterford Senator John Cummins. The department pointed out that there have been delays to the project arising from the Covid-19 crisis but they have decided now to push forward with the project.
A spokesperson for the department in correspondence to Senator Cummins said: “Funding has been allocated in the Capital Plan for the provision of a second Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford. Planning Permission is in place for this project and applications for fire and disability certification are currently in progress.
“Preparation of contract documentation has commenced; contractor selection is underway, and it is anticipated the project will go to tender before late July.”
Senator Cummins welcomed the news and said: “It is something that I have been pursuing strongly since my election to Seanad Eireann. I have raised it at every available opportunity with Minister Harris and the Taoiseach.
“Building works have already been completed in respect of the refurbishment of the existing Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford, they are awaiting the installation and commissioning of equipment as part of the Equipment Replacement Programme.
“Once complete and operations are transferred back to UHW from UPMC Whitfield, we will have two state of the art Cath lab facilities in Waterford – one at UHW & the other at UPMC.
“It is my belief that a service level agreement should be reached between the HSE and UPMC in relation to the provision of diagnostics for Cardiac patients across the South East that will more than match what was being provided by the mobile lab at UHW which only operated 3 days a week,” Senator Cummins concluded.