Labour MEP for Munster, and former nurse and midwife at Waterford Regional Hospital, Phil Prendergast, has announced her opposition to any downgrading of services at the facility in Ardkeen in Waterford.
Speaking from Brussels Ms Prendergast said “In 1978 I began my training as a nurse in WRH, and worked at the facility for a number of years. I am acutely aware of the importance of this facility not just for the people of Waterford, but for the whole of the South-East region. As a medical professional I could not stand over any decision to downgrade the facility as I know the harm it would cause patients.
“I am aware from experience that the standard of care provided by staff at the hospital is exemplary. Over the years, millions of euro has been invested in the facility particularly in the upgrading of cancer care and palliative care services.
“If this hospital is downgraded I worry what would happen to these services, and whether the significant investments made would go to waste. If a patient has to travel from the South-East to Kilkenny or Cork to get the treatment they need, their safety will be compromised, and ultimately it will cost lives.
“I have sought a meeting with Minister Reilly as soon as possible to discuss this critical issue. I also plan on engaging with the medical professionals and concerned individuals on the ground to oppose every step of the way, any move to downgrade services”, she said.