Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has welcomed the decision of Waterford Council to grant planning permission to the HSE to the second cath lab at University Hospital Waterford, but warned that without serious action on staffing 24/7 cardiac care will remain a pipe dream. McGuinness is a member of the Regional Health Forum.
“I welcome the decision by Waterford City and County Council to grant planning permission for the long awaited second Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at UHW, however I am concerned at the continued failure to retain and recruit sufficient personnel to staff existing facilities.
“UHW currently has only one full-time and one part-time interventional cardiologist. This time last year there was three full-time interventional cardiologists. The inability to maintain staff levels means that even with the eventual delivery of the second cath lab, 24/7 cardiac care may well remain a pipe dream for the people of Waterford.
“The mismatch between infrastructure and personnel has become a persistent feature of the health service management under the current Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil government, as seen with the failure last year to open the Dunmore Wing at UHW on time due to staffing levels. The recruitment and retention crisis in our health service is endangering patients and holding back progress in key areas.”