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Need to address failures and issues in the National Ambulance Service - Louise O'Reilly TD

1 August, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has called for the Government to immediately address the failures and issues at the heart of the National Ambulance Service as identified by the Capacity Review Report and the workers in the service themselves.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The National Ambulance Service (NAS) is a key public service. However, their Capacity Review Report highlighted that capacity needs to be increased to meet demands. It pointed to the need for increased resources in terms of personnel, vehicles, and technology.

“Sinn Féin support these calls and we have identified a range of ways in which the problems as identified by the capacity review and the workers in the service themselves.

“A key change that is needed is a review of how ambulances are deployed. We believe that a review of deployment protocols could improve ambulance response times throughout the state and we have been told this first hand from ambulance personnel.

“In addition there is also the need to increase the necessary advanced paramedics to shore up staffing deficiencies that exist after the recruitment embargo's stemming from the austerity years.

“There also needs to be a phasing out of the costly reliance on the private ambulances and a reinvestment of savings into the National Ambulance Service. In five years the HSE spent over €25 million on private ambulances, which in itself does not constitute value for money.

“Reinvestment in the National Ambulance Service should commence immediately with the purchasing, staffing, and equipping of new ambulances for each HSE region.

“The implementation of such measures can be done quickly and simply and would immediately increase the capacity of the service, reduce response times, and save lives."

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