Carol Nolan TD

10,000 people in Offaly now impacted by heart problems

– 17-04-2024

Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has said she will be appealing to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to deliver on what she is describing as an “urgent need for greater investment in medical and support services for persons experiencing cardiovascular disease.”

Deputy Nolan was speaking after the Irish Heart Foundation informed her that there are an estimated 10,000 people in county Offaly alone who are affected by a cardiovascular condition. The IHF also confirmed to the Independent TD that among stroke survivors in co. Offaly there is a widespread sense of abandonment caused by a lack of community rehabilitation and support services:

“This is an issue that I have repeatedly addressed with the Minister for Health but clearly the lack of response from Government in terms of the improvement of services has been minimal or even non-existent in some case,” said Deputy Nolan.

“I know from research conducted by the IHF and indeed from the briefings I have attended on this issue with them, that approximately 74% of people who have experienced either heart failure of some other kind of cardiovascular disease have said that their psychological support needs are not being met.”

“The Irish Heart Foundation also informed me that a substantial number of the people it interacts with are failing to get the cardiac rehabilitation they need. That is totally unacceptable in a health service that receives €20 billion in annual funding.”

“What I am saying quite clearly is that I will be strongly advocating on this issue prior to the Budget so that there is proper investment in the kind of practical and social supports, as well as referral pathways that are needed to improve physical and mental health of patients.”

“This is also an issue that must be given priority at the national level, as I understand from the IHF that there are tens of thousands of outpatient appointments per year with an average wait times of 6-9/12 months.”

“That is utterly unacceptable given how time-sensitive treatment intervention can be,” Deputy Nolan concluded.