Dublin South West TD
Seán Crowe has said that the drastic cuts to ambulance services in Dublin City,
County and its hinterland will inevitably put lives at risk and lead to longer
response times from a vastly reduced service.
Crowe was speaking
after being informed that the Tallaght area was to be short of an Ambulance at
Airton Road this evening (Tuesday) between the hours of 7pm and 7am. Deputy
Crowe said that this was “gambling with people’s lives.”
Deputy Crowe said:
“Last night the
Swords area was without a HSE ambulance between the hours of 7am and 7pm. This
evening the traditional HSE ambulance cover from Airton Road in Tallaght will
“This reduced service
is the result of official strategic decisions on the part of the HSE and is
happening because of funding cutbacks. Traditional HSE ambulance service coverage
in areas like Maynooth, Kildare, Balbriggan, Baltinglass and Arklow are also
going to be reduced in the coming days.
“This will place
additional pressure on existing services and will make response times even
longer. It also comes in the wake of a reduction of the working week from 40
hours to 39 hours which has resulted in the loss of ambulance cover leaving one
Dublin fire brigade ambulance operating out of the Belgard Road when normally a
second ambulance is available.
“The HSE will claim
that the fire brigade service or a first responder car with one individual in
it can provide adequate cover.
“As an elected
representative I am asking what I believe is a reasonable question - is the
service that they are leaving behind sufficient or able to cover the growing
population of Dublin and its hinterland?
“In my opinion the
HSE are gambling with people’s lives.
“How can anyone
concerned about safety claim that this policy won’t lead to seriously injured
or ill people being left without assistance.
“This roster cut and
the gamble involved will inevitably lead to the loss of someone’s life
“Ambulance staff are
now not being covered if off sick or on annual leave. This is also putting
additional pressure on the limited service.
“I have written to
Health Minister James Reilly on this matter and have called on him to
immediately convene a meeting of the HSE to discuss this life and death