We are HEFSE

We represent the children, adults, citizens of this region, of this republic:

  • We are taxpayers and contributors to the national exchequer.
  • We demand equal rights to healthcare access as is afforded to every other region of this country.
  • We are standing up for our rights to equal access to basic healthcare, which is afforded to the rest of the country.

Why the people of the southeast are being put at risk

The Cardiac Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) serves over 500,000 people across the southeast but only operates Monday – Friday, 9 – 5pm. All other regions in the country have 24/7 cardiac cover and Cath Lab access. Patients in the southeast who suffer heart attacks after 5pm cannot access a Cath Lab in UHW or anywhere else within the 90 minute recommended window.

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Lab Distribution in Ireland

The Waterford Lab is the only 5 day service – all other centres have 24/7 cardiac cover. Click on the locations below to see cover for each area.

Derry/Tyrone
2 NHS
Galway
2 Public
1 (+1) Private
Clare/Limerick
2 Public
Armagh
2 NHS
Dublin
9 Public
11 Private
Cork
4 Public
2 Private
Antrim
9 NHS
Kerry
1 Private
South East
1 Public
only 9-5
Mon-Fri

HSFSE – ‘Health Equality for the South East’ Needs Help

We are asking you to support:

  • Our right to receive equitable healthcare.
  • Our right to receive full regional health services at UHW.
  • Our right to timely treatment for citizens suffering a heart attack in the southeast.
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Health Equality For The South East - HEFSE updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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Minister Coveney said at the opening of the new Waterford greenway 25/6/17 that government plans for Waterford include doubling of the population and making the city the economic driver of the South East region. How then can government also be considering withdrawing regional emergency cardiac access and reducing the regional clinical service level at UHW at the same time. You need to speak to your senior civil servant's minister as their agenda is fundamentally at odds with your statement! Yet again more evidence of the tail wagging the dog and in this case a very large tail on a very small dog!! ... See MoreSee Less

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Press Release HEFSE.com 22nd March 2017 11.00 am
The following is a statement furnished to HEFSE.com and signed by 116 South East Regional hospital consultants in support of the provision of 24/7 cardiac care in the South east region. All are public hospital consultants of various specialities and include National Clinical Leads, Professors and Clinical Directors. ------------------------------------------------------------STATEMENT SUPPORTED BY 116 REGIONAL CONSULTANTS IN THE SOUTH EAST REGION MARCH 20TH 2017 IN SUPPORT OF REGIONAL 24/7 CARDIAC SERVICES
The clinical care of cardiac patients in the South East is the immediate responsibility of their GPs and consultants in this region. We, the hospital consultants in Waterford, Wexford and South Tipperary, note the unanimous views of these hospitals' Cardiologists, expressed in these pages and elsewhere in the media, that the needs of the population are not being met in this regard. We fully support the sentiments expressed by 245 GP colleagues in the South East (Letters, Irish Times, Saturday, February 11th), that echoes this view. Furthermore, we understand and fully support the sentiments expressed by the people of the South East, who have felt the need to publicly protest to have their concerns heard.

It is with great concern for the welfare of cardiac patients in the South East that we add our voices. It is clear that there is a gulf between the views of the clinicians who care for patients in hospitals and in primary care and the Department of Health, who refuse to acknowledge or address the depth of our patients' difficulties.

The Herity report, which was commissioned to evaluate the cardiac service provision in the South East, has been criticised in its methodology and findings, but has been unquestioningly adopted as government policy. We note, however, that it was a report published in 2016, based on an evaluation of data from 2015. We are well into 2017, and activity in the service has increased still further, as evidenced by long inpatient waits for cardiac procedures in the South East. Crisis management is now in place including wholesale transfer of hundreds of patients to Cork. The decision to do this was made without discussion with their clinicians in the South East, and a third of patients have declined this option due to the logistical difficulties it causes them. This 'solution' is unfair and shortsighted, especially as a cheaper, more accessible and more clinically appropriate one, a mobile lab staffed by the region’s own cardiologists, is an option
A quote from the DoH statement of strategy, 2016-2019: Our values are “a deep-rooted public service ethos of independence, integrity, impartiality, equality, fairness and respect”. But there are 18 Cath Labs in Dublin (population 1.2 million, 1 lab/67 k patients), 6 in Cork (population 520,000, 1 lab/87k patients) 2 in Limerick, and soon to be 4 in Galway; the South East (population 500,00) has ONE, operating from 9 to 5, 5 days a week – this demonstrates neither equality nor fairness.

It is our opinion that provision of a second Cath Lab at UHW is the only logical solution that will allow management of planned and emergency procedures in a timely manner for all the population of the South East (over 500,000 people). Failure to provide the second Cath Lab will mean second class treatment for most people in the South East if they suffer acute heart attack and unacceptably long waits for planned procedures.

The government’s National Planning Framework document (Ireland 2040 – Our Plan) highlights the need to develop population centres outside Dublin. It describes the importance of infrastructure, including health infrastructure, to underpin this development. It suggests the future prosperity of Ireland depends on such development. The failure to adequately resource the South East Health Infrastructure runs contrary to that strategy. Furthermore, the population is ageing, resulting in greater care requirements. Projections suggest that between 2011 and 2021, the population aged 65 and over will increase by 38%. An ageing population contributes to a sharp increase in the prevalence of chronic disease and the need for healthcare infrastructure. This demographic ‘time bomb’ requires forward-looking and insightful resource planning; these issues were not addressed in the Herity Report.
We call on the Minister for Health to reconsider his policy for cardiac care provision in the South East. We do not accept the inequality which it condones. - Statement ends --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HEFSE IS HAPPY TO FURNISH THE LIST OF SOUTH EAST REGIONAL CONSULTANTS SUPPORTING THIS STATEMENT BUT WILL DO SO ONLY ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF PUBLISHING OR CIRCULATING IN ANY WAY, THE ENTIRE 116 NAMES WILL BE PUBLISHED AND THAT NO INDIVIDUAL NAME OR NAMES WILL BE PUBLISHED EITHER SEPARATELY OR OUTSIDE OF REPRESENTATION OF THIS STATEMENT. THE NAMES CAN BE SUPPLIED ON FOOT OF SIGNED ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS. PLEASE PM PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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Catheterisation Labs (cath labs) are facilities in which these services are delivered

  • Diagnostic coronary angiograms
  • Percutaneous coronary interventions (stents)
  • Pacemaker implants
  • Defibrillator implants
  • Loop Recorder & Pacemaker Interrogation
  • Balloon valvuloplasty for narrowed heart valves
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