Updated: 26/01/17 : 05:01:48
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McLoughlin's heated Dáil exchange over Sligo Cath Lab

There was a heated exchange in the Dáil yesterday evening (Wednesday) as Fine Gael T.D. for Sligo – Leitrim and Assistant Fine Gael Whip, Tony McLoughlin highlighted the issue about the need for the HSE to urgently provide a fixed Cardio Cath Lab Service to the people of the North-West region. Deputy McLoughlin raised the issue under topical issues with Minister for State at the Department of Health Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy.

McLoughlin vented his frustration at the delays with this development for Sligo University Hospital given the fact that “a fixed Cardio Cath Lab Service is not operational anywhere in the North-West of Ireland at present, let alone are there plans for additional services to be provided here”.

He stated, “I showed the Minister the map of Ireland where these current services are. I showed her the figures on how it would actually save the State money. Over €3.5 Million over ten years, it makes clear sense to develop this much needed service at Sligo University Hospital ad I wanted the Minister to bring this message back to the HSE.

“When people look at the facts, here it is clear to see the Northwest is being overlooked on this issue."

Helicopter Support

“Cardiovascular disease is the single largest cause of death in Ireland today and a fixed Cardio Cath Lab Service is vital for patients who suffer a cardiac arrest and their chances of survival. At present if someone has a cardiac arrest in Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and parts of Cavan, Roscommon and Mayo today and they need urgent access to Primary PCI and other specialist cardio treatment within the recommended 90 mins time period, they will not be able to achieve this without the support of helicopter transport”.

Deputy McLoughlin continued, “When people have to travel to Galway or Dublin for Primary PCI, not knowing if they will make it or not in the back of an ambulance, if they don’t get a helicopter, this is not acceptable in this day and age.

“I think it is high time now we have this service delivered to the 250,000 people in the North-West region. We have seen promises in other parts of the country in relation to cat labs, and second cat labs and what not! It is not acceptable for the people that I represent to be overlooked on this issue.

There is a clear case of having the required population for the service to be viable here and it makes sense in terms of geography, medical need, but also in terms of finances. On this basis, I am calling on the HSE and the Minister for Health to ensure that this process is accelerated and that this service is delivered as quickly as possible to the people of the North-West," concluded the Sligo based TD.


The debate took part at circa 8.35PM in the Dail.

Available on https://oireachtas.heanet.ie/mp4/dail/