Press Release

Varadkar welcomes new cross border service for heart attack patients

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has welcomed an important new cross-border cardiology service which will give Donegal patients suffering from a STEMI heart attack direct access to services in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

“This is the first cross-border service of its kind and represents a mile-stone in medical provision in the north west,” Minister Varadkar said.

“Up to 60 patients suffering from a STEMI heart attack will be treated in Altnagelvin every year. Previously, patients from the region had to be transported to University Hospital Galway so this represents a big saving in terms of treatment time and also distance. It’s just the latest cross-border medical service to be provided and I look forward to future expansion of this service. A further step will be to give access to Radiotherapy services at Altnagelvin for patients from the Republic.”

Patients within 90 minutes’ travelling distance of Altnagelvin Hospital will now have access to 24/7 primary Percutaneous Coronary Invention (pPCI) at the Hospital. It means that STEMI heart attack patients will have rapid access to high quality services on their doorstep.

In a further development, the Saolta Group has appointed a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Letterkenny University Hospital, who will help to deliver the pPCI service from Altnagelvin.