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Ambulance failures cost lives and must be addressed – Kenny

1 August, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking today in Leinster House, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal, Martin Kenny called on the government to take a proactive and urgent approach to the failures and problems with the National Ambulance Service as outlined in the Capacity Review Report and by those dedicated workers within the service.

Speaking alongside the party’s health spokeswoman, Louise O’Reilly, Deputy Kenny said:

“The problems in the National Ambulance Service are exacerbated in rural areas, like my constituency. Capacity must be increased with more staff, ambulances and better technology.

“The people working in the service will testify that the way it is organised, the nearest ambulance to an incident is not necessarily the one deployed. The result is that people are sometimes waiting over an hour for assistance and this is particularly common in rural areas. A review of deployment protocols is essential.

“The use of private ambulance services must be curtailed. They cherry pick the services they offer and often are just like an expensive taxi service bringing patients to appointments. The cost of these private services was €25 million in five years which could not be called value for money.

“We are calling for investment in the National Ambulance Service to begin now with the purchase of new vehicles, recruitment of advanced paramedics and the re-equipping of ambulances in each of the HSE’s regions.

“It is possible to fix this and save lives as well as making access to the health service easier for all citizens.” 

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