Dr Ruairi Hanley – ‘HSE Ambulance cuts ‘putting lives at risk’
Concerns are being expressed following fears that the HSE is ‘putting lives at risk’ by cuts to the HSE Ambulance Service in County Meath. The concerns were raised following new rosters introduced by the HSE will see a reduction in the number of ambulances operating on Fridays is reduced from three to two.
GP and spokesperson for Save Navan Hospital Dr Ruairi Hanley described the move as very, very disturbing while Deputy Ray Butler said he was horrified by the news. Dr Hanley said that assuming the reports are true, the reduction of the ambulance service by one third puts people’s lives at risk. “Any reduction in the ambulance service is a risk, given that it is possible to have at least two emergencies in a county the size of Meath at any one time,” he said.
Deputy Ray Butler said he was horrified that this was happening and would be contacting Minister James Reilly for an explanation. He said, “I fear for the safety of patients. The people at the coalface know what is happening and are concerned. We need a strong ambulance service and I am horrified to think that something like this is happening as a cost saving measure,
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the HSE said the Labour Court had issued a recommendation directing the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and Trade Unions representing paramedical staff to address a number of inefficiencies within its rostering arrangements. “While there have been some concerns raised by staff and public representatives in relation to reduced levels of cover at certain ambulance stations, the NAS wishes to reassure the entire population of North Leinster that this is not the case.
“Ambulances from adjacent stations will provide cover in a dynamic manner. In addition, a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) will also operate in the Trim area to further augment services from Monday 5th August,” she said. She said the National Ambulance Services’ objective is to ensure the highest quality of care is delivered in an appropriate manner all times. The National Ambulance Service (NAS), she said was not a static service and as such deploys its resources in a dynamic manner”.