Distribution of health services
Sir, – I read with sadness of the case of the Waterford man who passed away from a heart condition recently while en route to Cork for treatment as there was no treatment available locally (“Death of man transferred to Cork for treatment”, June 20th).
The point was made on the radio and in the print media that, had a cardiac unit been available locally, the gentleman may have survived.
As an older Wexford man with cardiac problems, living in Gorey, I have no local cardiac unit, and none is planned. If I get sudden severe chest pain, I will have to make the trip to a hospital in Dublin, and I will run the risk of not arriving at the cardiac unit safely or within key clinical time limits.
My geographic location appears to place me at greater risk of death compared to a Dublin resident.
I don’t know whether I should move house or whether I should simply accept the additional risk of living here in Gorey. In order to help me make an educated choice, I need the information as to where the best places to live are from the perspective of medical services, especially cardiac and neurological services, but this information is impossible to find.
The Department of Health and the HSE should be required to publish data on location of services, transfer times to regional centres, regional mortality rates, etc, to help the public make an educated choice as to which locations are the safest for particular illnesses. – Yours, etc,