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Ambulance services need support and resources – O’Reilly

5 August, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking today as SIPTU representatives attend the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in an attempt to resolve the dispute in the National Ambulance Service, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the State must secure sufficient resources to guarantee basic levels of care. 

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. 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.

“That report 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.

“If this dispute is not resolved there will be a strike next week and this will be down to 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 firm commitment from the Minister in terms of resourcing.  There is a role for Simon Harris in this dispute and he must make himself available to help broker a resolution.”

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