“Emergency Intervention Needed In Ambulance Crisis" – Kealy
Aontú Representative Becky Kealy has raised concern regarding information released to Aontú showing declining National Ambulance Service.
- Cork North West Constituency is serviced by 10 ambulance stations
- Stations in Clonakilty, Fermoy, Kanturk, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton, Millstreet and Youghal each have 2 vehicles and 11 assigned staff.
- Bantry Station has 2 vehicles and 15 assigned staff, Cork City Station has 10 vehicles and 43 assigned staff.
Speaking today, Ms Kealy said “The Government is allowing the ambulance crisis to spiral out of control, putting people’s lives at risk. Aontú submitted a series of parliamentary questions to ascertain the severity of this crisis. The results were terrifying. In 2019, the number of ambulances that were over 1 hour waiting for handover to hospitals were 15% of the overall patient attendances at hospitals that year. By 2022, this had risen to a staggering 34%. Already in 2023, where are well over 1/4 of attendees waiting over 1 hour. This is paired with a massive increase in response times. In 2019, there was an average 18 minute response time. In 2022, this saw an increase to 31 minutes. In one instance, a patient was left waiting 13 hours and 35 minutes for an ambulance in the southern region.”
Ms Kealy continued “This is having a heart breaking effect, with the number of patients that were dead by the time an ambulance reached the scene increasing from 252 in 2019 to 306 in 2022. A recent report published by the English Medicine Journal showed that waiting times of 5 hours or more are linked to a heightened death risk. The report found 1 extra death for every 82 patients delayed between 6 to 8 hours. Government underinvestment in our ambulance service is recklessly putting people’s lives at risk.”
“There is an urgent need for Government intervention to prevent this crisis from spiralling further out of control. The Government must invest in better pay and work conditions for Nurses, hospital workers and our national ambulance service.” Concluded Ms Kealy.