Flanagan urges colleagues to 'knuckle down' amid Waterford health services row

Flanagan urges colleagues to 'knuckle down' amid Waterford health services row

The junior minister at the centre of a row over the cardiac care service in Waterford, says consultants there have rejected plans to expand it.

John Halligan says plans from the Minister for Health to extend its hours do not go far enough.

Simon Harris's proposals include extending the hours of the existing cath lab, but not the provision of a second one.

Flanagan urges colleagues to 'knuckle down' amid Waterford health services row

Earlier, two of Fine Gael's government negotiators denied there was a blanket promise to deliver a second cath lab.

Leo Varadkar says decisions must be made on sound medical advice.

"Of course it's the case that when it comes to designating special centres, centres of excellence and super regional medical facilities, that has to be done on clinical grounds. It can't be subject to politics and that’s what it says in the programme for government."

Speaking in Dublin this evening, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan urged all his ministerial colleagues to get on with the jobs they were given.

"Can I just say, in terms of government stability, we're faced with huge challenges. Not least the matter of Brexit which has been the subject matter of our discussion this afternoon and at Cabinet level, we have the preparations for the budget, we have the issue of public sector pay and I believe therefore it's important that all ministers in their respective portfolios would knuckle down and face the very serious challenges that lay ahead."

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