Date Released: 09 May 2016
SIPTU has written to the new Minister for Health, Simon Harris, calling on him to immediately publish a Department of Health and Health Service Executive (HSE) commissioned capacity review of the National Ambulance Service (NAS).
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Our members are concerned by media reports concerning the recommendations of this much anticipated capacity review. There is a wide variance in these reports regarding the number of additional staff required by the NAS to enable it to meet the recommended level of service. Our members are demanding immediate clarity on this issue.
“Our members who operate this vital service have waited several months since the completion of this report for its publication and deserve to see it in full now.”
Bell added: “SIPTU has today (Monday, 9th May) written to the new Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to advise him of the commencement of a national ballot of the union’s Ambulance Professionals’ Sector. In this ballot workers are being asked whether they support taking strike action if the Minister maintains the position of his predecessor and refuses to publish the review.
“The letter makes the new Minister clearly aware of our members concerns regarding the need for improvements in the service if it is to adequately respond to the needs of the community.
“The Minister must immediately publish the capacity review. This will allow stakeholders to engage constructively on the future development of a publicly resourced and run NAS in which the public can have full confidence.”