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Well-resourced Ambulance Service ‘an imperative’ – O’Reilly

17 May, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Sinn Féin TD and Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said that there is a need to secure the resources, which it has been starved of, in order to provide the Ambulance Service which the public deserves. Speaking after the publication of the comprehensive National Ambulance Service of Ireland capacity review, Deputy O’Reilly highlighted that the paramedics in our health service are working under growing pressure, with rising numbers and increasingly complex callouts.

The Fingal TD called for immediate engagement with all stakeholders, including SIPTU.

Deputy Reilly said:

“The National Ambulance Service is a key public service. We recognise that the paramedics in our health service are working under growing pressure, with rising numbers and increasingly complex callouts. We need to secure the resources, which it has been starved of, in order to provide the Ambulance Service which the public deserves. The State must guarantee basic levels of care across the country. 

“Now that the report has finally been published, it is imperative that the Government engage with all stakeholders and representatives of ambulance professionals to agree on a way forward that ensures we have an operational, properly funded and well-resourced national ambulance service that is fit for purpose.

“The report has identified that the HIQA targets can’t be met. This finding alone is evidence that capacity needs to be increased to meet demands. There is also a clearly identified need to locate bases in areas where they are most needed. The delay in publishing this report speaks volumes about the commitment of the Fine Gael led government and the last Fine Gael led Government to the ambulance services. 

“The Government must now, following the publication of the comprehensive capacity review, make a long term commitment to the funding of a publicly owned and well-resourced National Ambulance Service. This report must not be used to further disadvantage rural communities, already forced to rely on greatly reduced hospital services. As such, the Government, in conjunction with the relevant authorities and stakeholders must work on a blueprint to ensure that quality of care is secured for all citizens, irrespective of their geographic location. 

“This will require immediate engagement with all stakeholders, including SIPTU.

“What we have not heard from Minister Harris as yet is a firm commitment to implement the recommendations of the report. The report makes for very disturbing reading at first glance and further delay cannot be countenanced.

“In short, the report points to the need for increased resources in terms of personnel, vehicles and technology and we need to see a plan from the Minister now on how and when it will be rolled out.” 

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