Calleary seeks greater resources for Mayo ambulance service

AmbulanceMayo Deputy Dara Calleary has demanded greater resources for the ambulance service in
Co Mayo following a serious of alarming delays in the response time to local
emergencies.

The Dáil is this week debating a Fianna Fáil motion which raises concerns about a
growing crisis in the ambulance service. 

“The Government needs to wake up to the crisis in our local ambulance service,” said
Deputy Calleary. “Official figures show that last year, only one in every three
people with life-threatening conditions were responded to within the target
time. The situation is worse in more rural areas. Large parts of the country,
including Co Mayo, have been left without any ambulance cover for long periods
of time.  And lives are being put at risk as a result.

“The bottom line is that the ambulance service is not getting the support and
resources it needs to run an efficient and safe service nationwide.  Despite the
selfless dedication of our local paramedics and the high quality of care they
provide, they are being undermined by mismanagement of the service at a national
level.

“The centralisation of ambulance control and dispatch has led to serious
inconsistencies in ambulance cover and a lack of local knowledge when it comes
to responding to emergencies.  This has meant that Mayo’s ambulances are often
sent to another county for emergencies, leaving this county without any cover
whatsoever.  It’s an extremely dangerous situation.

“In addition to this, the service is not adequately resourced.  The Republic of
Ireland has less than 1,600 ambulance staff and a budget of €137million to cover
a population of 4.6 million.  Compare that to Scotland which has three times as
many ambulance staff and just under twice the budget that we have
here.

“This
week in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil is asking TDs from all parties to stand up for our
local ambulance service and ensure that it gets the basic resources it needs to
respond safely to emergencies.  People have a right to expect that they will
receive a safe and timely response in the event of life-threatening
emergencies.”