Our Lady of Lourdes hospital spent €3.35million hiring private ambulances since 2011 - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has called the HSE out over its €3,356,728 spend on private ambulances in the past eight years.
Deputy Munster branded the spend “a shocking waste of taxpayers money”, saying that it would have been better spent purchasing new ambulances to service Our Lady of Lourdes.
Deputy Munster 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 my colleague and Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD have shown that over €3.35million has been spent by Our Lady of Lourdes on private ambulances since 2011.
"This includes an estimated spend of €456,215 in 2018. This massive spend on hiring private ambulance services does not make financial sense or represent value for tax payers money.
“The HSE and Our Lady of Lourdes hospital should be purchasing and staffing new ambulances which would make more economic sense in the long run.
"This is typical of the poor spending decisions and wastefulness we’ve seen from Fine Gael in the last seven years since they took power.
“Across the state the figure is €44million spent on private ambulances by the HSE since 2011. This would have bought at least 202 fully equipped emergency ambulances for the public health service.
“Unless Our Lady of Lourdes hospital invests in new ambulances, the catchment area will become even more reliant on private providers.
“Last year spending on private ambulances was €456,215, in 2011 it was €329,760. We must 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 instead of putting money into the pockets of private companies which does not constitute value for money or a benefit to the taxpayer."