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Sinn Féin would invest over €9million in Ambulance Services in 2017 – O’Reilly

18 August, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly has said that more adequate investment in the ambulance service is necessary as the State must guarantee basic levels of care across the country, of which the National Ambulance Service is a key public service.

The Fingal TD said:

“Many communities across the State experience lengthy and dangerous delays waiting for ambulances. We hear every week stories of people waiting long times, even when in a close proximity to hospitals or dispatch centres. 

“The State must guarantee basic levels of care across the country. 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. The government has to date failed to support them by providing adequate numbers of staff. We need only look at the recent threats of strike action to see a service and team overstretched, underfunded and frustrated.

“Since the publication of the Capacity Review, Sinn Féin has been vocal in calling for Government to 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. 

“That report showed that capacity needs to be increased to meet demands. It pointed to the need for increased resources in terms of personnel, vehicles and technology. We welcome that, following the WRC talks, commitments have been made to new investment in the service, but we need concrete follow-up on tis. Budget 2017 is the chance to do that and we need to see a plan from the Minister now on how and when it will be rolled out. 

“In our pre-Budget submission last year, Sinn Féin committed to investment of €7.8million to increase emergency ambulance cover, through the provision of new ambulances and personnel. This year we have committed to increase this investment to €9.47million in recognition of the great need for more personnel and ambulances across the State to respond to emergency needs.

“Communities across the country should not have to experience long and dangerous delays waiting for ambulances. The paramedics and frontline personnel want to ensure quality of care and patient safety and this cannot happen without these commitments in terms of resourcing being followed through on.” 

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