Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne has joined calls for an urgent review of the National Ambulance Service.
He’s become the latest Tipperary TD to highlight shortfalls in the system when addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says a review can be carried out, but defended the standards of care by saying there’s no comparison between the current system and that 20 years ago.
Deputy Browne described the ambulance service as a “shambles”:
“I’ll give you an example – a doctor called an ambulance for a woman in her late 80s a couple of weeks ago in Cashel at 1.40 in the day. 7.40 that night, it arrived.
“The doctor was in such a panic with this woman and her health, that he called it too. The family contacted me at 5.30. She spent another 10 hours inside on a trolley in the hospital.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says that HIQA and other health professionals have declared that the current system is the optimal one.
He says that a review will happen, but defended the current standards in the ambulance service:
“Both HIQA and those who are professionals in this field believe that the framework that’s been developed over the years is the optimal one.
“Now I did say, in light of what’s being articulated on the ground and by TDs, that there needs to be a review of that. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water either here.
“A lot of progress has been made, it needs to be improved upon and expanded upon. But there’s no comparison between what we have now and what we had 20 years ago in this country.”