Date Released: 30 November 2015
SIPTU has called on the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, to publish the recommendations of the HSE National Ambulance Review so that work on developing the service can commence.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “SIPTU members will be meeting over the coming month across the country to consider proposals for a ballot on strike action in order to secure publication of the HSE National Ambulance Review and a commitment on increased funding for the service.
“It is staggering that the Minister for Health has had in his possession an executive summary of this independent review since December 2014 but has yet to make it public. This is even more surprising when it is considered that almost two years ago he made a public commitment to the Joint Oireachtas Health Committee to conduct an urgent examination of the service."
Bell added: “The National Ambulance Service has been heavily criticised in HIQA reports for a failure to meet some response time targets and other issues. Our members are demanding the service is adequately resourced to meet these targets.
“It is my understanding that the executive summary of the review makes clear that the service requires approximately €50 million of extra investment to bring it up to the international standards that serve as the benchmarks for HIQA reports.
“The review highlights the requirement for the recruitment of 250 to 300 frontline ambulance professionals and an updating of the fleet. It also focuses on the failure to adequately resource the Intermediate Care Vehicle programme that is resulting in the deployment of emergency ambulances for patient transfers.”