Hopes for 24/7 cardio care services grow as South East gets a second cath lab
A MAJOR hurdle in the campaign for 24-hour cardiac care services for the South East has been overcome.
Yesterday it was confirmed that University Hospital Waterford (UHW) will get a second permanent cath lab.
The feasibility study and site selection process has been completed and the HSE is now ready to appoint a design team for the project.
The good news for the region was delivered to South East Oireachtas members at a meeting with South/Southwest Hospital Group CEO Gerry O’Dwyer and Chief Operations Officer Gerard O’Callaghan.
The new lab, which will cost €4.9 million to construct and fit out, will have the capacity for both diagnostic and interventional work and will be constructed over the existing ground-floor cardiology department.
The plans include the construction of a new recovery and day ward adjacent to the second lab.
HSE management confirmed to the Oireachtas members that provision of the second cath lab has been identified as a priority and that the process to recruit a new full-time interventional cardiologist at UHW is to be fast-tracked.
This new post is required to facilitate extending the opening hours of the existing lab and to support the second lab when it opens.
The South East Oireachtas members said they were satisfied, following the two-hour meeting, that all the building blocks were being put in place to improve on existing services and ensure a sustainable cardiology service for the people of the South East.
In a joint statement, they said: “We look forward to the speedy appointment of the project’s design team and to seeing physical progress on the new cath lab in the months ahead.”
A catherisation laboratory (cath lab) can detect, and in some cases treat, abnormalities of the heart.
People throughout the South East have long campaigned for a second lab with 24/7 facilities in Waterford.
It was promised last year but there were fears it might be postponed because of HSE over-spending.