Press Release

New Chest Pain Clinic at Cork University Hospital

“An important step in the diagnosis of patients with a high risk of coronary disease”

Speaking today (Monday, September 23rd 2002) at the opening of the new Chest Pain Clinic at Cork University Hospital, Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health & Children said “the new Chest Pain Clinic is an important step in the diagnosis of patients with a high risk of coronary disease. It will reduce un-necessary hospital admissions in low risk patients. It will also provide a valuable opportunity to assess and advise patients concerning the modification of risk factors”.

“Cardiovascular disease including heart disease, stroke and related diseases is the single largest cause of death in Ireland. Unfortunately, the Southern Health Board region has the highest incidence of premature mortality from cardiovascular disease and from ischaemic heart disease in this country. Coronary heart disease accounts for 25% of all deaths within the Cork and Kerry region”, the Minister noted.

“Since the Cardiovascular Health Strategy, Building Healthier Hearts was launched in July 1999; a total of €45 million has been invested in the strategy. Almost 800 new staff have been or are being appointed to support its implementation across the country. It is recognised that a comprehensive approach addressing primary prevention, primary care, pre-hospital care, on the one hand, and diagnostic and treatment services in acute hospitals, on the other, is the means by which the death rate from cardiovascular disease can be reduced”, Minister Martin said.

“Cork University Hospital provides cardiac surgery services to patients from the Southern Health Board and from parts of the Mid Western and South Eastern Health Board regions. It is important therefore to ensure that the facilities here are geared to provide an acceptable level of cardiovascular health service to the people of the catchment area.” added Minister Martin.

“Last year I gave approval to the Southern Health Board to proceed with the planning and construction of a new €82 million Cardiac and Renal Dialysis building at Cork University Hospital. The development will include a Coronary Care Unit and a Cardiology Department with an expanded role in the provision of Cardiothoracic Surgery. The project will enable C.U.H. to provide a quality, functional tertiary service that will address the clinical needs of the Munster region. This development is part of a major capital development programme at C.U.H. It includes a new Radiotherapy Unit, Accident and Emergency Department, a Day Procedures Department and a new amalgamated Maternity Department. When all these developments are completed it will represent an overall investment of approximately €200 million” he said.

Concluding, Minister Martin said “this Government is fully committed to the development of a modern health service capable of responding to the needs of the people of this country. It has provided unprecedented increases in both capital and revenue funding for the health services in order to achieve this. The development programme, which is underway here in Cork, represents the largest development here since the hospital was opened 23 years ago”, he said.