The Wexford and the Tipperary hurlers will put their rivalry aside on Sunday, April 16th and join together to place their hand on their hearts in solidarity in a call for health equality for the people of the south-east.
The ‘Hand on Heart’ campaign highlights the present lack of 24/7 cardiac care within the south-east region and is calling on the government to install a second Cath lab at the University Hospital in Waterford with the provision of 24-hour cardiac care for the region. At present the south-east is the only region in the country that does not have a 24-hour service.
The Tipperary team is asking supporters at the Allianz National Hurling League semi-final in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny on Sunday to join them in placing their hands on heart during the playing of the national anthem to demonstrate support for this campaign - one in three heart patients at the University Hospital in Waterford hail from Wexford while one in five heart patients hail from Tipperary.
The Cardiac Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) serves the south-east region, but only operates from Monday to Friday (9am-5pm). All other regions have 24/7 care and have access to more than one Cath lab; a permanent second Cath lab for UHW is needed to ensure the health and safety of the people of the south-east.
The Cardiac Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford serves over 500,000 people across the south-east. Many patients within this region who suffer heart attacks after 5pm cannot access a Cath Lab in UHW or anywhere else within the 90-minute recommended time.
At present patients in the south-east region who cannot access a Catheterisation Lab within the required 90 minutes are forced to undergo a second grade treatment in their local hospital which is effective in only 45% of cases. Success rates for those treated for coronary blockage in a Cardiac Cath Lab have a 95% successful outcome. This care is presently being given at UHW and could be given on a 24-hour basis if this service was funded to provide out of hours cover.
The people of the south-east have been fighting since 2012 for a permanent second Cath Lab for UHW since the Higgin’s report was published and the people of the region were at that time promised a second Cath Lab by the Department of Health.
For further information please see www.hefse.com.