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HSE spent €44 million hiring private ambulances since 2011 – O’Reilly

23 April, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD said that the HSE spend of over €44 million on private ambulances over the past eight years is a colossal waste of money and that the money should have been spent to purchasing new ambulances for the health service.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The outsourcing of ambulance services to private companies by the HSE is further evidence of the drive towards the privatisation of our health services under Fine Gael.

“Figures released to me in a response to a Parliamentary Question have shown that the state has spent €44,573,383 on private ambulances since 2011. This massive spend on hiring private ambulance services does not make financial sense or represent value for tax payers money.  

“The HSE should be purchasing and staffing new ambulances which would make more economic sense in the long run. It should be noted that the money spent on private ambulance services since 2011 would have bought at least 202 fully equipped emergency ambulances for the Public Health Service.

“Unless the HSE invests in new ambulances and invests in training additional staff, the health service will become even more reliant on private providers.

“Last year, spending on private ambulances was over €9 million. In 2011, it was a little over €2 million; we need to fight back against the privatisation of our health service at the hands of Fine Gael

“The State needs to ensure that we have a high quality, publicly owned stock of ambulances with the trained personnel to operate them instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute value for money or a benefit to the tax payer.” 

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