Pilot heart health service shows what Sláintecare can deliver, says Senator Kyne

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The success of a heart failure diagnostic and care service in Galway is an example of what Sláintecare can deliver, Galway senator Seán Kyne has said.

University Hospital Galway is running the community-based service with Primary Care Centres in Tuam, Gort, Claremorris and Galway City, and it has reduced waiting lists from six months to just six weeks.

GPs can refer their patients with suspected heart failure directly to the service for tests and diagnosis, making it easier for patients to access routine care.

“This Sláintecare programme gives direct access for GPs to diagnostics, keeping patients away from a hospital setting for as long as possible thus leading to less stress and saving time and expense for patients,” said the Fine Gael senator.

“This is very welcome at a time when GUH is under severe pressure and when staff and patients have to deal with very difficult conditions in a completely inadequate temporary Emergency Department.

“The results of this service show what can be done when you combine the experience of staff and the facilities of the Primary Care Centres.”

Senator Kyne said that 95% of patients were satisfied with the service, over 1000 patients have been tested through this service and over half had an appointment within two weeks of referral.

“This is why there is broad support for the Sláintecare concept and it provides evidence that, if resourced, led and supported, Sláintecare can be the basis for a successful health service.”