The proposed breakup of the Southeast Hospital configuration will see a four way split in the region with hospitals in Kilkenny and Wexford grouping with hospitals in Dublin and Waterford and Clonmel grouping with Cork. This will break up the region and reduce the critical mass needed to sustain tertiary and specialist services such as cancer care, trauma at cardiology at Waterford Regional Hospital.Locals are concerned that if proposals in the report are carried out, and the Southeast region is broken up, then that could lead to major job losses and loss of medical services.“It already has one of the biggest unemployment rates in the region,” said Cullinane. “This would compound the economic problems and see more jobs lost.”He commended the organisers for the fact they “have been able to bring so many people onto the streets”.It is expected that the report, which is currently believed to be with the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, could come up in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.Cullinane is now calling on the Minister for Health to publish the Higgins Report.The people of the Southeast have a right to know what is in this report before it goes to cabinet. Crucially the government needs to keep the Southeast structure in place thereby securing tertiary services and jobs in the region.PICS: Thousands gather for Waterford Regional Hospital rally> UP TO 4000 PEOPLE turned out for a major rally in Waterford yesterday calling for the protection of hospital services.Waterford-based Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane told TheJournal.ie that he was reiterating his call for the government not to downgrade Waterford Regional Hospital or allow the Southeast hospital configuration to be broken up.He said specialist and tertiary services such as cancer care, trauma and cardiology are all at risk if plans to break up the region are progressed. Thousands of people from the Southeast were expected to take to the streets demanding a retention of services in the Southeast.TurnoutCullinane said following the protest: “There were around 4000 there, which was a good turnout given the cold weather. The organisers were happy with it.”The event was organised by Andrea Galgey and Gillian Corcoran, who also organised a similar protest a number of months ago. Among the attendees at the rally was Labour TD Ciara Conway.This event was “to put pressure on the cabinet as they prepare to meet next week to sign off on the Higgins report”, Cullinane said.