Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams, speaking in the Dáil this evening during a debate on the ambulance service, warned of the consequences for patient safety if the government’s failure to properly resource the ambulance service.
Teachta Adams said:
“In my own constituency of Louth, there have been serious delays, including one at the start of the year in which a man died.”
Speaking in the debate Gerry Adams said:
“I want to pay tribute to the emergency front line ambulance staff who carry out vital work under difficult circumstances but whose efforts are often frustrated by the numbers of available ambulances; their location and the arrangements for the rostering of staff.
“There is a deep and widespread public concern at the crisis in the ambulance service.
“In my own constituency of Louth, there have been serious delays, including one at the start of the year in which a man died.
“In 2008 there were 320 ambulances serving the state. Last year this dropped to 265. At night it drops to a mere 113. The health service has only half the paramedics per capita compared to the North and as a result last year only one in three patients with life-threatening conditions was responded to within the target time.
“Government cuts have led directly to this situation. The recent RTÉ Prime Time investigation, indicated that despite life-threatening absence of available ambulances, rapid response vehicles, costing taxpayers €100,000 each, are parked for weeks outside the homes of senior management.
“What’s more, the taxpayer was on the hook for the fuel used.
“It’s time that this Government took action to tackle this serious problem. It must lift the burden off the ambulance service by allocating more resources to it as a matter of urgency.”