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17 Aug 2022

Minister for Health to meet local TDs on Cath Lab closure at Sligo Hospital

Changes at Sligo University Hospital in preparation for increase in patients attending with Covid-19

Sligo University Hospital

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly is to meet all four TDs from Sligo/Leitrim to discuss the closure of the Cath Lab at Sligo University Hospital.

Announcing the news, Deputy Marian Harkin said that the discussion will also cover plans for the provision of proper services for coronary patients at SUH.

Deputy Harkin noted that the Minister made an important statement when he said that "hospital management have proposals in place for a Cath Lab, be it for diagnostics and or for intervention, there’s clinical views required on that".

"This is welcome news but we need to hear the detail. What are these plans, how have they progressed – when can heart patients expect to see a Cath Lab service re-instated?" said Deputy Harkin.

“Unfortunately, our experience with HSE reports in this area is not good. Back in 2013 HSE North West drafted a review of the cardiac services in the North West. They recommended that there should be a permanent service put in place in SUH, yet we see there was just a two-day week service instated and now that has been withdrawn”.

Deputy Harkin continued, “furthermore, we know that the location of a Cath Lab at SUH will have implications for the employment of an additional cardiologist at the hospital. This, in itself, is a really serious issue for cardiac services and in fact it was raised in Dail Eireann by Deputy Eamon Scanlon back in 2018. Four years down the line the Cath Lab service is closed but the issues around the employment of cardiologists remain”.

“In order to ensure a sustainable Cath Lab service in Sligo, SUH must be fully included in the National Review of Cardiac Services. Minister Donnelly in his response assured me that the entire country is included but, that tells me nothing about whether or not these services will be located at SUH. This review is crucial because it will be the basis for Government policy on cardiac services for the next 5 to 10 years and we need specific guarantees from the Minister that cardiac services will be provided at Sligo University Hospital on a par with other parts of the country and that we will not be left in the current situation that north of a line from Dublin to Galway, there is no Cath Lab service available to cardiac patients," she said.

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