Several members of the Independent Alliance have said issues over cardiac services at University Hospital Waterford will be resolved tonight.

Minister of State John Halligan earlier told RTÉ News that he had issues with the process regarding how an independent clinical review came to its conclusions regarding cardiac services for University Hospital Waterford.

It is now understood that a second clinical review of the services is being proposed, possibly to take place early next year.

Mr Halligan is expected to consult his local organisation in Waterford on the proposals being put forward.

He earlier said he believed any attempts not to deliver on the promise for increased cardiac services in Waterford had the potential to bring down the Government.

He said the inquiry's terms of reference were not the terms that he had agreed with Fine Gael.

The Independent Alliance TD said it did not focus enough on critical problems around waiting lists for cardiac services.

Fine Gael is expected to agree to the independent clinical review's recommendation for increased resources for the existing catheterisation laboratory at the hospital and then propose a further clinical review at a later stage.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny this afternoon said "an independent clinician of world class stature" looked at whether there was a need for a second catheterisation laboratory at the hospital and it is not "politically possible to change a clinician’s direction and recommendation in this regard".

Mr Kenny said Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had met Mr Halligan to discuss the report on the need for a second cath lab.

When asked if he would give Mr Halligan what he wants in relation to cardiac care in Waterford, Mr Kenny said it is not "politically possible to change a clinician’s direction and recommendation in this regard".

However, he said Mr Harris "did offer a series of outcomes and proposals that will help the situation very much in Waterford".

He said Mr Halligan is now aware of the options proposed and could outline "what the minister was able to offer in the absence of a positive recommendation for a second cath lab by the consultant, who is world class standard, in making his recommendation".

Harris says clinicians make clinical decisions

The Programme for Government states that the Government is "committed to the development of a second Cath Lab in University Hospital Waterford subject to a favourable recommendation from an independent clinical review of the needs of the region to be carried out within six weeks"

"Then, it will proceed immediately to design and planning stage followed by construction, and will be completed and ready for operation without due delay. In the interim the hospital will be asked to review the resourcing necessary to extend the existing lab hours with a view to providing a more extensive service. 

"It is understood that the extension and funding of these hours is subject to receipt of a recommendation to proceed with the investment to a second lab.

"On receipt of this recommendation, partial revenue funds will be liberated immediately to allow for the recruitment of staff to facilitate the extension of lab hours".

Mr Harris, meanwhile, said it is up to clinicians to make clinical decisions in the health service - not politicians.

The health minister said he will be led by clinical decisions on the upgrading of facilities in Waterford.

Speaking in Roscommon at the opening of a new endoscopy unit, Mr Harris said the Programme for Government said very clearly that a second cath lab would be provided in the southeast on foot of a clinical review.

He said officials from his department were presently considering a clinical report on the hospital received from Professor Niall Herity and said he has been very clear that services in the region needed to be improved. 

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane said that the report into cardiology services at the hospital needs to be published immediately.

He also called for an urgent meeting of local and regional Oireachtas members and the Minister for Health to discuss the report's results.

"It is deeply disappointing that leaks from the Herity Report do not recommend enhanced cardiology services at University Hospital Waterford," said Mr Cullinane.

"The people of Waterford were assured by hospital consultants that UHW meets the criteria for enhanced cardiology services and has sufficient patient through-put to justify a second cath lab at the hospital."

Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler described details of the report on the cardiac facility in Waterford as a "bombshell".

She said the report commissioned by the Government was deemed "a formality" by Mr Halligan but the suggestion that "services may be reduced, and that an existing high-tech cardiac facility could be transferred to Cork is a significant blow to everyone in Waterford".