December 11, 2023

Lack of 24/7 cardiac care playing ‘Russian roulette’ with lives of people in Kilkenny and South East

THE lack of 24-hour cardiac care in the South East is playing “Russian roulette” with the lives of heart attack victims in Kilkenny and throughout the region, hospital campaigners have claimed.

Campaign groups have urged people from Kilkenny and the South East to join a protest march against the lack of 24/7 cardiac care in the region today.

Protesters will begin assembling at The Glen, Waterford from 1.45pm, with the march getting underway 15 minutes later.

Cardiac campaign groups HEFSE, 24/7 Cardiac Care for the South East and the South East Patient Advocacy Group (SEPAG) are calling on citizens in Kilkenny and throughout the South-East to put their “Feet on the Street” and join the protest.

The groups also plan to stage another march in Dublin over the coming months to highlight the fact the South East remains the only region in the country still without 24-hour cardiac care.

Campaigners say the regional imbalance in hospital services is putting lives at risk.

Two men in their early forties had to be transferred to Cork from University Hospital Waterford (UHW) one night earlier this week after they suffered heart attacks.

It is understood the second man, who was extremely ill, was forced to wait for over an hour and a half until 3am for an ambulance to travel from Youghal to Waterford so that he could then be rushed back down the N25 to Cork.

Hilary O’Neil of SEPAG said: “Two very ill patients were denied access to the cath lab, both young men in their early 40’s.

“The emergency department lost two doctors and two nurses for most of the night and the whole area had to rely on a single ambulance from Youghal.

“I cannot even begin to imagine the trauma, stress and worry caused to both of these men and their families and the effect it must have had on all the staff working in the ED.

“All the while there were two cath labs with locked doors at UHW. We hope both patients make a good recovery. But this has got to stop. We cannot allow this Russian roulette with our lives continue. It could be any one of us next.”

Ms O’Neill urged as many people as possible to turn out for today’s march to make their voices heard.

She added: “24/7 [cardiac care] has to be implemented immediately and there is absolutely no valid reason as to why it cannot be.”



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