The Cath Lab service at Sligo University Hospital is to cease at the end of the month.
he provision of a full time Cath Lab in the hospital was recommended as far back as 2013 when the HSE’s North West Cardiology Review Group issued its report but now the service is going to end altogether.
The existing limited Cath Lab service in the hospital which has been provided by a mobile Cath Lab unit operating just two days a week, was recognised as inadequate because it necessitated many cardiac patients from Sligo and the North West having to travel to Galway or Dublin for cardiac procedures.
However, it has now been revealed that this very limited two day Cath Lab service will cease operating on the last day of this month.
The matter was raised on Monday’s monthly meeting of the County Council by Councillor Declan Bree.
He said the HSE claims that the private company contracted to provide the part time service decided to cease operations in Sligo, and because of the lack of alternative providers in the marketplace it is not possible for the Cath Lab service to continue in Sligo University Hospital from the 30th June.
“This clearly is shocking news for Sligo and for the people of the North West and can only be described as a further downgrading of Sligo University Hospital.
“In 2017 the Saolta University Health Care Group urged the then Minister Simon Harris to extend the cardiac catheterisation laboratory services at Sligo University Hospital.
“However, on every occasion the matter has been raised in recent times we have been told by Government that no decision will be made on the matter until such time as the National Cardiology Review is completed.
“The estimated cost of providing the full time Cath Lab service in Sligo University Hospital is approximately €2million. Yet cardiologists have pointed out that the HSE has been spending over €1 million a year on the temporary mobile Cath Lab service and transferring patients from Sligo and the North West to Galway and Dublin hospitals.
“In my opinion the ending of the Cath Lab Services in Sligo University Hospital is totally unacceptable. Again, just like the Cancer Services, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have failed the people of this community.
“I believe that we now need the three T.D’s in the constituency who voted for the Taoiseach and the government, to intervene and to insist that the much needed full time Cath Lab service be provided in Sligo University Hospital.
His motion that Sligo County Council expresses its deep dismay at the failure of Government to provide a catheterisation laboratory (Cath Lab) service at Sligo University Hospital and calling on the Three TDs in the constituency who voted for the Taoiseach and the Government, to take the necessary steps to have the service provided in the hospital was unanimously passed.