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20/10/2021

Ambulances criss cross Ireland to get to Laois and Offaly patients

Midlands crews go elsewhere

Doctors in Laois set out their vision for the future of the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Laois and Offaly ambualances are travelling outside the Midlands on emergency runs while patients living in the counties are depending on paramendics based as far away as Cavan to get to them to give urgent help.

So claimed Laois Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen in the Dáil where he called for urgent action as serious concerns highlighted with Midlands ambulance service

A statement said Dep Cowen raised serious concerns in the Dáil about the effectiveness of the ambulance service in the Midlands region in recent times and called for urgent improvements. 

“Reports from crews and patients around the country over the past year or so suggest serious delays with ambulances arriving to treat patients. These delays were once an occasional occurrence, but now seem to be making the news on a daily basis. 

“In one week alone, in a small town in my constituency, there were three cases highlighted to me where very serious delays occurred.

“Paramedics, who are working incredibly hard, are also being dispatched to calls way outside of their own regions, irrespective of the levels of cover locally. In turn, many calls in the Midlands area recently have been answered by crews from Roscommon, Ballinasloe, Athy, Maynooth and even Cavan. This is because Midlands crews have been dispatched to other regions,” he said.

He said Covid-19 swabbing is wrongly taking precedence.  

“I know some staff were released from frontline duty to carry out Covid swabbing. Returning these to frontline duty should be considered as an option to improve staffing," he said. 

Deputy Cowen concluded: “I would implore the Minister to insist on improvements and to measure and review operations to ensure the service can effectively deal with the demands currently being placed on it.” 

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