Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 23 September 2021
Public Accounts Committee
Financial Statement 2020 and Related Matters: HSE (Resumed)
Ms Anne O'Connor:
Yes. At any one time, we have between 160 and 180 ambulances on the road. We estimate we need about 250 ambulances. Every ambulance takes 12 staff. From 2015, we have grown from 1,500 to 2,000 staff. We intend to grow that figure. It is a multi-year plan. We agree that the service is significantly under-resourced. To compare it with Scotland, for example, the latter has approximately 5,000 staff for a similar population and geography. We are working on a multi-year plan to increase capacity and what the Deputy described is a symptom of demand outstripping available capacity, not dissimilar to what we see in emergency departments, etc. The ambulance is part of our unscheduled care pathway and is experiencing the same pressures. The Chairman is right. We need to grow the resource and we are planning to do so.