SENIOR medical professionals, including consultant cardiologists and chief clinical director of The South/South West Hospital Group have “utterly rejected” the findings of the Herity report on thew provision of cardiac services for the South East.
At a media briefing held in Dublin hosted a media briefing in Dublin, Dr. Patrick Owens, Consultant Cardiologist and clinical lead for cardiology at University Hospital Waterford said“The struggle for adequate resourcing for the South East cardiac service has been four years in the fighting. This report was the last in a long line of hindrances and procrastinations we have encountered in this struggle, and, as a result, we accepted the process of independent review only under duress. The report conclusions were deeply dismaying, but made all the more so since its eventual publication last Thursday has allowed its flawed nature to be identified.”
Dr. Owens went on to say. “The population calculation in the Herity report is inaccurate. From this figure, all the subsequent recommendations come. These recommendations hugely disadvantage the South East population, limiting still further their access to care, both by withdrawing the prospect of acute heart attack emergency care, and by profoundly under-resourcing the South East Cardiac Interventional Service in University Hospital Waterford.
The flawed report determines the effective population size for the unit, by examining the patient flows to the unit. However, this approach is flawed. The flaw is best described in the ‘Croke Park’ analogy, which asks how to determine the number of people who want to come to the stadium to see the All-Ireland Final. The method used in the report determines this figure by simply counting the number of people in the stadium. This figure can never exceed the capacity of the stadium (82,300), regardless of the demand. The application of this method for determining the effective population on a capacity-constrained service, such as the South East cath laboratory, leads to erroneously and dangerously low population estimates.”
Consultants are now calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, to intervene and meet with the consultants to resolve the ongoing problem of a second cath laboratory as lives are at stake in the South East.