Tipperary patients 'missing out on rapid access to early cardiac intervention'

Tipperary's John Breen had a procedure completed at Mater Private within two hours

South Tipp Today

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South Tipp Today

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dylan.white@iconicnews.ie

Tipperary patients 'missing out on rapid access to early cardiac intervention'

Tipperary’s John Breen (57) was transferred to Mater Private from South Tipperary General Hospital.

Patients in Tipperary with private health insurance who present to a public hospital with cardiac symptoms may be missing out on rapid access to cardiac intervention because they are unaware they have the option to be transferred to a private hospital cath lab, according to Mater Private.

Tipperary’s John Breen (57) recently attended South Tipperary General Hospital with stomach pains and was immediately admitted. When he was being admitted, he mentioned that he had private health insurance. Within an hour and a half of being in South Tipperary General Hospital, he was informed that he was being transferred to Mater Private the next morning for treatment. He spent less than two hours in Mater Private where he had stents inserted into his heart and was then transferred back to Clonmel to recover.

“Everyone in the Mater Private was pleasant and professional. Having my procedure completed within two hours made the whole process alot easier and it was great knowing that I was on the road to recovery in such a short space of time,” John said.

“I know first-hand the value of having health insurance and I would encourage people who don’t have it to get it and let the staff in Clonmel hospital know that you have insurance when you arrive,” he added.

According to Mater Private, 'patients are unwilling or reticent to declare their insurance because of recent misleading and confusing information in the media that exercising their insurance may increase their premium at renewal or prevent them returning to the public system for follow up care.

'Many patients admitted to public hospitals who need cardiac procedures are transferred to public hospital cath labs, despite having private health insurance. As a consequence, a significant number are left waiting several days and often over a weekend because of demand on public waiting lists. This further adds to already long public lists and deprives patients who have paid their health insurance the option of immediate access to often lifesaving care

'These patients could have been transferred to Mater Private for their procedure who offers rapid access to three state-of-the art cath labs and a team of over 20 cardiologists operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is very important considering patients with certain cardiac conditions benefit from rapid access to early intervention and are known to have better clinical outcomes than those who don't.'