Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Campaign to highlight inadequate South Armagh Ambulance cover

11 February, 2008

Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy has welcomed the Sinn Fein campaign to highlight the inadequate Ambulance Cover in south Armagh and demand that the issue be addressed and called on people to sign a petition to the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.

Mr Murphy said:

"Large areas of south Armagh are permanently outside the 20 minute ambulance response time despite the fact that it is laid down in legislation.

"Sinn Fein have been highlighting the concerns of local communities in south Armagh about the provision of Ambulance cover for many years. This campaign is now a very public way for local communities to very publicly convey their concerns and frustrations that the legitimate demand for a proper service. Our communities are entitled to that."

Slieve Gullion area Councillor Terry Hearty has called on all to sign the petition which is demanding that the issue of ambulance cover be addressed.

Cllr Hearty said:

"The issue of ambulance cover in the South Armagh area must be addressed. Figures clearly show that ambulance response times for the area are not up to the response times recommended by the Ambulance Services.

"A first step would be to ensure that Rapid response Vehicles were placed in the south Armagh area.

"To many of us solution is the building of an Ambulance sub station in south Armagh and ultimately that is what I believe the majority of our communities would like to see. However there is a need to implement a Rapid Response Vehicle facility as soon as possible and we will be demanding action on that issue as a matter of urgency."

A petition calling for full and adequate hospital cover in south Armagh is now in the public domain and Sinn Fein would encourage all to sign it. Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has confirmed that he anticipates the subject of the provision of ambulance cover in south Armagh will be debated at the Assembly.

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