Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Health Minister and the National Ambulance Service to station an ambulance at Emyvale health centre for the duration of extensive road works along the main N2 route between Corracrin and Emyvale.

She made the request after concerns were raised by a local group that ambulance response times could be compromised as a result of the works.

Deputy Smyth explained, “There are already significant issues with ambulance response times across Cavan and Monaghan with patients waiting more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive.  These response times are completely unacceptable and will only be exacerbated by these road works.

“I have raised the issue of lengthy response times with the Minister for Health and the National Ambulance service several times and am not satisfied with their lack of action on this issue.  Lives are being put in danger, and in some cases are being lost, but there appears to be no urgency to address the issue.

“While the NAS acknowledges that it needs to increase “resources and staff numbers in order to achieve the targets set out by HIQA on response times” it could take 4 years until “this additional cohort of staff will be operating within the service”.  That could be 4 years too late for some families living in this area.

“I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to recognise the gravity of the situation and to listen to local people who are extremely concerned about the situation.  These road works have to potential to further delay ambulances and result in unfavourable outcomes or even death in the event of an emergency situation.

“Basing an ambulance in Emyvale for the duration of these road works would improve response times and allay the fears of people living in north Monaghan who will be impacted by the disruption”.