Ambulance incident sparks calls for audit of services across country
on 21/09/2013 13:01:19
The incident happened on Thursday, when the ambulance was being given a garda escort from Cork to a Dublin hospital, according to the Irish Examiner.
The ambulance ground to a halt at Newlands Cross on the outskirts of Dublin, and the patient had to be taken to hospital in a Garda car.
It is not clear whether the ambulance ran out of diesel or had a mechanical problem.
The HSE said it is looking into the matter to find out what happened.
Fianna Fail's spokesperson on health, Billy Kelleher, said it is clear the National Ambulance service is under-resourced.
He said: "I think it is time that we not only investigate this very serious incident, but look at the broader problems across the country with regard to the national ambulance service.
"The crews and drivers are under immense pressure to try and deliver emeregency services and I don't think the minister and the HSE have given enough resources across the country due to the fact that they have closed down many Accident and Emergency departments in hospitals, particularly in rural Ireland."
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said: "Whatever the circumstances, whether running out of diesel or a mechanical breakdown, it is inexcusable. But for the Garda escort, this man, scheduled for a transplant operation, would have lost this important chance for life.
"The national ambulance service is clearly in need of urgent address. This was not an isolated incident. Is the service fully fit for purpose and dependable at all times?
"These are questions I will be raising at next week's Oireachtas Health And Children Committee and with the Minister for Health at the first opportunity."