Louth Fianna Fáil TD Seamus Kirk has called for a full review of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) operations in the North-East as a matter of urgency. It’s emerged it took over an hour to get a heart attack victim from Dundalk to Drogheda at the weekend because an ambulance broke down.
Deputy Kirk said: “This is totally unacceptable. Patients’ lives are being put at risk because the national ambulance fleet operating in the North-East is not fit for purpose. This is not the first incident of this type in the region and unfortunately many people believe it won’t be the last.
“I am calling on Minister Varadkar as the new Minister for Health to order a fundamental review of the operations of the National Ambulance Service in the North-East. It’s not good enough that patients are literally depending on the element of chance to get to hospital on time.
“The HSE has informed me that the National Ambulance Service operates three ambulance stations at Dundalk, Drogheda and Ardee with the command and control centre in Dublin. The NAS also has two Rapid Response Vehicles, one in Ardee and one in Trim.
“This incident happened late on Saturday evening. It is precisely because there are limited services available at this time of the day and week that the reliability of the service must be unquestionable. People in Louth need to know that in emergency, any emergency, they are able to receive safe and efficient ambulance care.”