Date Released: 13 January 2015
SIPTU has called on the HSE to immediately release a capacity review of the National Ambulance Service that was commissioned last year following concerns raised by workers that the service is inadequately resourced.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The capacity review into the National Ambulance Service must be released immediately and discussed at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health as a matter of priority.
“Our members have been deeply concerned about the direction of the ambulance service and demanded a capacity review from the Government in February 2014. From the reports we have seen our concerns are completely vindicated.
“We are short 290 highly skilled ambulance professionals who are needed to give life saving treatment to sick and vulnerable citizens. This is unacceptable. Reports in the media today drawing on an independent review of the ambulance service suggest that the key performance indicators set out by HIQA in 2011 were unrealistic and flawed due to the failure to carry out a full capacity review before they were set.”
Paul Bell added: “If the National Ambulance Service is to function at the level that HIQA is demanding, and the public deserve, then the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, needs to invest in recruitment, resources and conduct a review into how to develop an effective strategy for community first responses.”
“The time has come for the Government to stop moving from one health crisis to another. It needs to provide leadership and the public with confidence that the National Ambulance Service is safe, fully resourced and fit for purpose.”