Talks continue after John Halligan threatens to resign over Waterford hospital controversy

It comes after a review recommended moving some hospital services from Waterford to Cork

Talks continue after John Halligan threatens to resign over Waterford hospital controversy

John Halligan. Image: RollingNews.ie

A junior minister has threatened to resign over an independent report that recommends moving some hospital services from his home city.

Talks between John Halligan and Minister for Health Simon Harris are continuing this evening. 

It comes after a review found that a high-tech cardiac unit could be transferred from Waterford University Hospital to Cork.

The report was demanded by the Independent Alliance junior minister, who had expected it to support the provision of a second catherisation laboratory.

Mr Halligan has said he may now have no choice but to resign from the minority government over the refusal to meet his demands. 

However, Taoiseach Enda Kenny warned this afternoon that it was not possible to change the review's recommendation.

He said "an independent clinician of world-class stature" had already looked at the matter but that Mr Harris "did offer a series of proposals that will help the situation very much in Waterford".

The programme for government committed to developing a second cath lab at the hospital "subject to a favourable recommendation from an independent clinical review". 

David Cullinane, Sinn Fein TD for Waterford, has also expressed his concerns and called for the report to be published immediately.

"The people of Waterford were assured by hospital consultants that UHW meets the criteria for enhanced cardiology services and has sufficient patient through-put to justify a second cath lab at the hospital," he said. 

"The people of Waterford need delivery of services and not false promises and raised expectations."