Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly TD has said that the Minister for Health or the HSE must intervene to avert next Tuesday’s ambulance strike.

“I understand that some 500 members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) are set to strike on Tuesday of this week. This means that basically a quarter of all ambulance personnel will not be available for a twenty four hour period.

“This dispute is related to a union recognition issue. NASRA are affiliated to the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) and they have sought to have the dispute referred to the Workplace Relations Commission. However it seems that the HSE is refusing to engage.

“At such a difficult time of year the HSE should at the very least meet NASRA and the PNA. The HSE is only compounding the pressure on its own services by not discussing the matter. All sides – and all unions – need to reach a solution.

“It is important that Minister Harris confirms that there are contingency plans in place to ensure that all ambulance calls are responded to in adequate time. While it has been common practice not to engage with unions that are not recognised, plans still have to be put in place to protect the public,” concluded Donnelly.