Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc MacSharry has called on the Minister for Health to detail a timeline for the delivery of a CAT lab at Sligo University Hospital (SUH) which offers patient cover to part of south Donegal.
Deputy MacSharry said: “The Minister for Health could not detail when or even if Sligo University Hospital will receive approval for a permanent CAT lab. Waterford have revived finding approval for an additional CAT lab while the people of the North West continue to be ignored.
“At the moment patients suffering a cardiac arrest are forced to travel to Galway despite the fact that best practice dictates that these people need to be admitted to hospital within a 90-minute window if they are to get the best outcome. Fine Gael continues to ignore our communities in the North West.
“Every year over 550 people are transported to Galway for critical cardiac treatment. Since 2001 this has cost more than €10.6 million. Meanwhile, the rental costs for the mobile unit mounted on a truck that comes in two days a week has been €3.6 million. If we were to bank roll the project, it would be much more economical to provide a permanent unit. Instead, Fine Gael have employed delay tactics by way of a 1.5-year review before they even acknowledge that the people of the North West are entitled to, and need the lab.
“I have a serious concern as to delays to other capital projects announced too much political fanfare and photo calls including the new 80 bed block at SUH, the new mental health unit, the commenced of construction of the new St Patrick’s Hospital in Carrick On Shannon and The Shiel Hospital in Ballyshannon.
“Existing delays are intolerable and arising from the calamitous management of the costs of the Children’s Hospital there are genuine fears that these critical projects will be pushed out even further. We need leadership from the Minister and the Taoiseach, not the auto pilot and commentary we have seen up to now,” said Deputy MacSharry.