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Naas Ambulance tragedy ‘a demonstration of the Government’s dereliction of duty of care’ – O’Reilly

22 September, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Reacting to the shocking and tragic events in Kildare concerning, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the State must secure sufficient resources to guarantee basic levels of care in our ambulance services, including the provision of vehicles, equipment and personnel. 

Deputy O’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. Similarly, when their vehicles or equipment are under pressure or in need of replacement, the state must ensure these resources are there. 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. 

“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. We understand that the unions have raised concerns previously about vehicles and questions need to be answered about why today's tragedy occurred when such flags were raised. 

“That capacity review 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 and we need to see a plan from the Minister now on how and when it will be rolled out. The Government must now make a long term commitment to the funding of a publicly owned and well-resourced National Ambulance Service.

“Today's tragedy is an unfortunate demonstration of the abdication of responsibility by the Minister and the Department in ensuring that these services have the support and resources they need. The paramedics and personnel want to ensure quality of care and patient safety and this cannot happen without a commitment from the Minister in terms of resourcing.  There is a need for Simon Harris to make a statement on this and he must make himself available to discuss how he intends to fund these services in the budget.” 

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