The Wexford and the Tipperary hurlers will put rivalry aside on Sunday and join together to place their hand on their hearts in solidarity in a call for health equality for the people of the Southeast.
The Hand on Heart campaign highlights the present lack of 24/7 cardiac care within the southeast region and is a call on government to a second Cath lab at University Hospital Waterford with the provision of 24-hour cardiac care for the region.
At present the South East is the only region in the country that doesn’t have a 24-hour service.
The teams are asking supporters at the match in Nowlan Park on Sunday to join them in placing their hands on heart during the playing of the national anthem to demonstrate support for this campaign.
1 of 3 heart patients at University Hospital Waterford hail from Wexford and 1 in 5 heart patients at UHW hail from Tipperary.
The Cardiac Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) serves the southeast region but only operates from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
All other regions have 24/7 care and have access to more than one Cath lab; a permanent second cath lab for UHW is needed for the health and safety of the people of the Southeast.
The Cardiac Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) serves over 500,000 people across the southeast. Many patients within this region who suffer heart attacks after 5pm cannot access a Cath Lab in UHW or anywhere else within the 90-minute recommended time.
This can result in catastrophic health outcomes and possibly death, due to failure to receive the appropriate interventional care in the recommended time.
At present patients in the south east region who cannot access a Catheterisation Lab within the required 90 minutes are forced to undergo treatment in their local hospital which is effective in only 45% of cases.
Success rates for those treated for coronary blockage in a Cardiac Cath Lab have a 95% successful outcome. This care is presently being given at UHW and could be given on a 24 hr basis if this service was funded to provide out of hours cover.