Friday, April 05, 2019

Transition Year students from the Mercy Secondary School in Waterford pictured supporting the Hand On Heart campaign for 24/7 Cardiac Care in University Hospital Waterford. Photo: Noel Browne

WATERFORD will take their fight for 24/7 cardiac care to Dublin once again, on Saturday, April 13, and campaigners are calling for a “large convoy” to travel from Waterford.

“A Dublin cardiac protest may sound inconvenient until you consider the impact of you or a loved one suffering a heart attack during the 129 hours each week the South East UHW Cath lab is closed,” said Independent Councillor and PRO of Health Equality for the South East, Matt Shanahan. “On Saturday, April 13 at 1pm the South East is going to stand up. Cardiac campaigners will be in Dublin fighting for health equality – will you join with us in heart on the day as opposed to in spirit later?”

Donie Fell, Secretary of UNITE in the Community Trade Union is also calling on a big turnout, “especially in light of the latest revelations”.

“Recent data shows that 98% of those who had a cardiac event, during the years  2015-18 from counties Waterford, Wexford and S/Tipperary and were transferred to Cork or Dublin, were found to be outside the clinical standard of 90 minutes,” Donie said. “Of the 295 people transferred, just three made it within this window. These delays resulted in additional damage to patients, including death, brain damage, and loss of sight among others. This must be compared to the international clinical standard of 60 minutes used in the UK, where 90% of cardiac patients begin treatment within this timeframe. The building of a second Cath Lab if it were to happen immediately, would take at least 18 months before patients could be treated there. The same statistical certainty as outlined above would continue, condemning many new cardiac patients to unnecessary suffering and even death.”

The Dublin protest takes place on Saturday, April 13, assembling at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square at 1.30pm. The Waterford Council of Trade Unions are organising transport, which will leave the Forum on the Glen at 10am.  Those wishing to travel can contact the Unite Office on 051 875438 to secure a seat.

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By Darren Skelton
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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