Dáil debates

Wednesday, 4 October 2006


Ambulance Service.

8:00 pm

Photo of Séamus HealySéamus Healy (Tipperary South, Independent)

I thank the Ceann Comhairle for allowing me raise this important issue on the Adjournment. The issue is the urgent need for the location of an emergency ambulance service in the town of Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, as the lives of heart attack and road traffic accident patients are being put at risk because the existing emergency ambulance service operating out of Clonmel and Waterford cannot meet the required normal response times for ambulance services.

This is an issue that has been going on for quite a number of years. I have raised it on many occasions in the House, as have other public representatives, both locally and nationally. It is time this nettle was grasped and a proper ambulance service was put in place for the people of Carrick-on-Suir.

Carrick-on-Suir, which is in the south-east corner of south Tipperary equidistant from Clonmel and Waterford, has no emergency ambulance. With a population of 5,000, the town is a progressive one that continues to expand with a number of large housing developments having come on stream in the town and the surrounding area in recent times. The hinterland has a population of approximately 10,000 people. There is a need, therefore, for an ambulance service in the town. It is the only major town in south Tipperary without such a service. Tipperary town, Cashel and Clonmel have ambulance services. Despite the best efforts of ambulance staff based at South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, and Waterford Regional Hospital, they cannot meet standard response times for emergencies. As a result, the lives of road accident victims and those who suffer cardiac arrest have been, and are being, put in jeopardy because of the deficiency in the ambulance service. They are the first responders and they do an excellent job but they cannot be expected to do the job of an emergency team, which comprises trained emergency medical technicians and nurses and uses various equipment carried by an emergency ambulance vehicle.

The Caredoc service is available but it does not provide emergency cover and while it is a good service, it cannot meet the need for emergency services and quick responses to emergencies. I hope the Minister of State will not say a study or an appraisal will be undertaken when he replies because we have been hearing this for years.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.