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Sinn Fein calls for urgent action on ambulance fleet.

22 September, 2008

Sinn Fein calls for urgent action on ambulance fleet.

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Michelle O' Neill MLA has called for an urgent action on the fleet of ambulances used in the Derry area. This follows one of the fleet breaking down, while in service, twice in as many weeks.

Speaking today Ms O Neill stated:

'Ambulances should be kept to the highest maintainable standard and where there is any doubt about the suitability of a vehicle, it should be removed from service and a replacement found. The fact that one of the fleet has broken down twice in as many weeks raises serious questions.

'To be very blunt, the breakdown of ambulances boils down to a matter of life and death. If an ambulance were to break down with a casualty, who may be in a very serious condition in the back, what happens then?

'One thing is clear about this incident however, we have not heard people's fears addressed by the Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey. The Department of Health should be clearly stating today what the strategy is, either to review the use of these vehicles or to procure new vehicles.

'The Ambulance Service, not the Department of Health, have stated that they are waiting on the approval of a business case submitted to the Department before they can purchase new vehicles. A response on this business case needs to happen as a matter of urgency.' CRÍOCH

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