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John Halligan says he's secured a mobile cath lab for Waterford hospital

The Independent Alliance TD almost left the government last year in a row over the lab.

WATERFORD TD JOHN Halligan has announced he’s secured a mobile cath lab for University Hospital Waterford.

Halligan, a member of the Independent Alliance, had been campaigning for a second specialised cardiac treatment lab at the hospital.

The Minister of State’s demand for a second catheterisation lab at his local hospital was the focus of a political row between Fine Gael and IA members last year, putting Halligan’s membership of the government in doubt.

A consultant cardiologist commissioned to conduct an independent review of cardiac services at UHW found that there was no need for a second such lab.  As the dispute played out Dr Niall Herity, the Belfast-based consultant tasked by Minister for Health Simon Harris to carry out the review, took to the airwaves to defend his decision.

“I didn’t conclude that there was a need for a second lab, but I did conclude that the cardiology, the funding, and the staffing at the existing lab be increased,” he said in September.

I have recommended substantial investment, just not a new cardiac catheterisation laboratory.

5/7/2016 Independent TD John Halligan Source: RollingNews.ie

In recent months, Halligan has been working to have a mobile lab added at the hospital, and told the Irish Examiner last week he had no doubt “within six months, the HSE will realise the need for a proper permanent second lab”.

Speaking to the same paper however, campaign group the South East Patient Advocacy Group described the compromise measure as a “fudge”.

“The provision of a mobile cath lab is to form part of the Government’s response to stagnant cardiology waiting lists at University Hospital Waterford. It is a big step forward,” Halligan said in a statement posted on Twitter.

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