Scanlon warns HSE hold-up on Cath lab will impact Sligo cardiac services

‘The current mobile Cath lab system is not providing range of badly needed services.’

Sligo News File

Sligo-Leitrim TD Eamon Scanlon has warned that “further delays to the establishment of a permanent Cath Lab at Sligo University Hospital will have serious implications on the recruitment of an additional cardiologist for the hospital.”

Eamon Scanlon,TD.

The Fianna Fail Deputy said correspondence he has received reveals that the HSE has set up a review group to examine the provision of Cath labs across the country, a move which will further delay the establishment of a Cath lab in Sligo.

He said, “I am deeply frustrated by this latest information from the Saolta Hospital Group, which clearly outlines the intention to set up a permanent Cath lab at SUH, but which explains that ‘a National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services is currently being undertaken.’ This will undoubtedly delay the provision of the Cath lab at SUH.

“The current system, whereby a mobile unit visits the hospital once a week, is not providing the range of services that are so badly needed. Patients are forced to travel to Altnagelvin in Derry, Dublin or Galway for procedures.

“The lack of a permanent Cath lab will also create recruitment issues for the hospital. SUH is currently advertising for a second cardiologist and it will soon be seeking a replacement for a current post. If we want to attract the best candidates it’s crucial that we have a Cath lab.

“The HSE should not be standing in the way of Saolta’s current plan, which proposes a fixed Cath lab in Sligo.

“I am calling on Minister Harris to end the delay and approve the existing plan so that patients in Sligo and across the North West have access to a full service cardiology facility,” he said.

TD demands ‘clarity’ on use of UK laboratory in Cervical Check smear testing

‘It is important that all of the background regarding how and when tests are sent overseas to the UK is made known so that women can have full confidence in the Cervical Check programme.’

Sligo News File.

Fianna Fail TD, Marc MacSharry has said that questions which have arisen regarding the subcontracted use of laboratories in testing smears taken as part of the HSE Cervical Check programme must now be answered.

Marc MacSharry TD

He said, “It has now emerged that in the circumstances that a laboratory is under pressure with smear testing it avails of third party testing facilities to prevent a backlog with a sister company in the UK. This was confirmed by Medlab, Sandyford, Dublin earlier today.

“The Minister needs to clarify how exactly this works and whether there is a different criteria applied to tests carried out in the UK or whether they are all treated the same and signed off by Irish pathologists here.

“In addition, the Minister must explain whether he knew about this practice and whether he is satisfied that this happens on a regular basis and whether GPS are informed whether the teats have taken place.

“Are we outsourcing the testing of smears, transcribing the results and then looking to an Irish pathologist to sign off on the test results or are they being signed off by UK pathologists?

“It is important that all of the background regarding how and when tests are sent overseas to the UK is made known so that women can have full confidence in the Cervical Check programme.

He concluded, “It’s crucial from here on out that women continue to seek the testing services of Cervical Check and HPV Vaccination and to ensure this every effort must be made to guarantee that women have all information that is available.”

Farmers strike over introduction of mandatory EID tagging and unworkable CLP policy.

Measure will cost upwards of €2.5 million per year.

Action taken without consultation with flock owners.

ICSA-led protest at Department of Agriculture later today.

Sligo News File

ICSA is to mount a protest in opposition to the mandatory introduction of EID tagging for all sheep today, Monday 14 May.

John Brooks,
National Chairman, ICSA Sheep Committee

ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has said that members of the ICSA sheep committee wish to highlight the mounting anger of sheep farmers against this unnecessary move.

Commenting Mr Brooks said, “The introduction of mandatory EID tagging will cost sheep farmers €2.5m per year. It has been done without warning or consultation at the behest of processors who are the only ones who will benefit. It is unacceptable that sheep farmers should bear all the cost.”

Michael Creed, TD,
Minister for Agriculture

In addition Mr Brooks said, “ICSA is also deeply concerned about the chaotic rollout of the Clean Livestock Policy (CLP) for sheep. We are demanding an immediate review of the implementation of the policy.”

The protest will take place at the Department of Agriculture, Kildare St. Dublin and will start at 12.30pm.