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Ambulance and emergency delays costing lives – Seán Crowe TD

2 June, 2016 - by Seán Crowe TD

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, described a recent report into the National Ambulance Service as damning and unacceptable.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The National Ambulance Service is only reaching life threatening cases on time in one of every four cases, a recent report has showed, but it has a better response time in urban areas.

“This is unacceptable and is literally costing lives.

“Only this week a senior citizen who is blind and lives alone rang and told me that he was waiting over an hour for an ambulance to call. I rang the emergency number to be informed that he was eight in the queue.

“This is unacceptable, inhumane, and is the reality behind the figures.

“No one, young or elderly, should have to frantically wait this length of time for life saving treatment.

“Accidents happen and need to be responded to in a timely fashion. The broken hospital system where patients wait hours on trollies has now extended to emergency response times.”

Deputy Crowe continued:

“Ambulances breaking down or being asked to travel further and further away from bases is becoming more commonplace.

“I don’t blame the emergency staff but I do blame Government politicians for the incremental cuts directly impacting the service.

“An adequate response time of 46.5% in urban and 6.6% in rural areas is appalling. It shows that the HSE Management plan is not working for emergencies.

“Injured and critically ill citizens should not have to wait increasingly long periods for emergency care but that is what is happening.

“On Monday 6th June SIPTU members in the National Ambulance Service control centre in Tallaght, Dublin 24 will begin a work-to-rule action which will affect non-emergency duties within the control centre.

“These staff have gone through a long and difficult engagement process at the Workplace Relations Committee (WRC) to try to resolve this dispute but unfortunately have found that commitments given by management have not been honoured on multiple occasions

“Sinn Féin completely supports these workers and their demand that management fully implement all the WRC agreements in order to prevent a further escalation in this dispute.”

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