Mayo Deputy Dara Calleary has expressed his shock and disappointment at the HSE’s failure to recognise the severe ambulance shortage in Co Mayo.
Deputy Calleary questioned HSE management at length at the Oireachtas Health Committee this week about the major gaps in resources for emergency services in Co Mayo. He outlined a number of cases where patients in need of emergency medical care were waiting far too long for an ambulance to reach them.
Speaking afterwards, Deputy Calleary said it’s clear that the HSE has no understanding of the impact in Co Mayo of a new policy to reduce direct ambulance cover in the county.
“The new policy to send ambulances from any county to another county has resulted in major gaps in the emergency service in Co Mayo. Patients are being forced to wait an unacceptable length of time for an ambulance to reach them, which could be putting their lives at risk,” said Deputy Calleary.
“The HSE clearly has no understanding of the consequences for Mayo patients. Large areas of Co Mayo are now being left without ambulance cover. This is a matter of life and death and it cannot continue.
“It is very clear to everyone living here that we need extra resources for ambulance services in Co Mayo. The Taoiseach needs to step up to the mark here. This will not cost a fortune – a relatively small investment by HSE will make an enormous difference to our local ambulance services and will radically improve patient outcomes.
“I find it deeply disappointing that none of our local Government TDs saw fit to attend this Oireachtas hearing on ambulance services. The committee meeting with HSE management was open to all TDs, but I was the only Mayo Deputy to turn up and question HSE bosses about the severe problems with our local ambulance cover.
“I am now calling on the Government to start taking an interest in this and immediately intervene. Lives are being put at risk unless we soon see a boost in resources for ambulance services in Co Mayo.”