Mr Halligan previously took up the task of challenging Fine Gael over health services in the Waterford area which he claimed was not assessed properly and given the priority that they should have been awarded. Due to his strong stance he appeared to take, he was borderline about to leave the Fine Gael fronted government. He didn’t however, after reversing his apparent direction soon after a meeting with the party who the public is left to assume, persuaded him to stay by a given fresh reason.
A briefing note has come to light exposing that a government review held for cardiac services in Waterford Hospital, was in fact subject due to undue influence. Mr Halligan had previously claimed that someone in state was incorrectly assessing the service there. Fine Gael denied this – so the two sides went at loggerheads.
The briefing note stated that a cath lab in Waterford would be “wasteful of very limited resources” and could “potentially compromise patient safety”. The note was part of a briefing document prepared for an independent medical expert who was appointed to review services at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) as part of the deal which secured Mr Halligan’s support for the Government.
When Mr Halligan questioned the quality of the review, the note was redacted/censored and kept from him. It wasn’t until the 7th of October that the note was finally allowed to be seen by Mr Halligan. The redacted section of the note that was kept secret, said that the HSE did not view the provision of a second cath lab as a top investment priority.
Mr Halligan has gone on record and stated:
“there was serious departmental interference in what was supposed to be a fully independent review of cardiology services in the south-east”.
Despite this and the fact Fine Gael had led him in a merry dance, Mr Halligan incredibly is still now sticking by Fine Gael. We can only assess that their powers of persuasion must have been incredible despite important relevant information was held back from him for some time by persons still unknown in state – plus the fact that Fine Gael have failed to live up to their end of a possible election bargain with Mr Halligan!