The Chairman of the South-East Regional Authority, Councillor John Cummins has expressed his concern over what he calls "inadequate Cystic Fibrosis services at Waterford Regional Hospital". The hospital currently caters for approximately thirty paediatric patients and five or six adult patients.

“The 2009 preliminary registry states that there are at least 95 people with Cystic Fibrosis patients in the South-East. There could well be far more as the national register only accounts for 89% of CF sufferers. This clearly illustrates that patients are choosing to bypass paediatric services at WRH because the hospital is under resourced and bypassing adult services because they are virtually non-existent despite having an excellent CF consultant in place” stated Cllr. Cummins.

“The people of the South-East should be able to access proper CF services in the Region and not have to travel to Cork, Limerick and Dublin for treatment when they could easily be treated in their own regional hospital, but for inadequate facilities and low staffing levels” continued Cllr. Cummins.

Cllr. Cummins expressed his dissatisfaction with the Health Service Executive (2009) report which stated that WRH should not be a specialist centre despite the independent Pollock report (2005) clearly indicating that WRH should be a designated specialist centre catering for an equal number of adult and paediatric patients along with Cork, Limerick, Galway and the four Dublin Hospitals. "The reports show two clearly conflicting recommendations. I cannot help but ask is this only a coincidence or is it a case of vested interests within the Health Service Executive; given that there were no South-East representatives from the South-East on the working group” stated Cllr. Cummins.

Cllr. Cummins concluded by saying "On one hand the HSE are saying that WRH will expand its adult Cystic Fibrosis services as patient numbers increase but on the other hand they are saying you do not have the patients to merit Specialist status which would increase the resources available. Facilities and staffing levels specific to Cystic Fibrosis such as a Specialist Registrar, Physiotherapist, Dietician etc. must be improved at Waterford Regional Hospital as a matter of urgency”.

21 April 2011

Further information from:   Cllr. John Cummins
(087) 9205729

Mr. Tom Byrne, Director
(052) 61 26200

Tue, 10 May 2011 17:00:00 BST