Taoiseach ‘exasperated’ on hearing of delays to Waterford cath lab

Varadkar says he is tired of ‘one excuse after another’ for failure to appoint design team

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘The design team should be appointed and I’m exasperated as to hearing one excuse after another as to why that can’t be done so they should go ahead and do it.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘The design team should be appointed and I’m exasperated as to hearing one excuse after another as to why that can’t be done so they should go ahead and do it.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is “exasperated” at the number of excuses given for the failure to appoint a design team for the second cath lab in Waterford.

Mr Varadkar said the Government is absolutely committed to the proving the lab. The decision was made some time ago and the money is in the estimate.

“The design team should be appointed and I’m exasperated as to hearing one excuse after another as to why that can’t be done so they should go ahead and do it.”

He was responding to Waterford Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil TDs David Cullinane and Mary Butler, who had both attended a meeting on Monday with consultants and management of the South-West Hospital Group which runs Waterford University Hospital.

A cath lab (catheterisation laboratory) with diagnostic imaging is used to treat heart abnormalities.

Mr Cullinane said that in October 2018 the Minister for Health signed up for the cath lab and the money was in the health estimate.

The South West hospital group told them that “they cannot plan for the development of the second lab until the capital plan is announced” but that the design team could be appointed.

“Can you put pressure on the Minister for Health to ensure that design team is appointed as quickly as possible.”

Ms Butler said the feasibility study and site selection had been completed. She said the design team was the smallest part of the budget.

A HSE representative at the meeting said the design team could not be put in place until the budget has been signed off on the capital plans”.

Mr Varadkar agreed with Mr Cullinane that the decision had been made some time ago, and the commitment made.