Waterford hospital's 'moment of truth'
Campaigners for Waterford Regional Hospital took to the streets again at the weekend to show their opposition to any downgrade of services.
The march on Saturday came just days before the Cabinet is due to consider a report on the future of hospital networks which could, people in the southeast fear, ultimately result in a transfer of services from the region’s biggest hospital.
Up to 3,000 marched to The Mall in Waterford city on Saturday afternoon. The march was organised by the Save Waterford lobby group, set up last year by local women Andrea Galgey and Gillian Sauvage-Corcoran.
“If this downgrading does happen, and James Reilly goes ahead with his report, we’ll be driven by ambulance to hospitals in Cork and Dublin in future,” said Ms Galgey.
Chairman of the hospital’s medical board and surgeon Joe O’Beirne said they were coming to the “moment of truth” in a struggle that started months ago. “Our region has suffered enough and now the Government is being presented with this outrageous idea to pretend the region doesn’t exist.”
The report of an expert group chaired by Prof John Higgins of UCC is expected to come under scrutiny by the Government this week. It is believed one of its recommendations is to break up the southeast hospital network.