Lowry: Pay and conditions for paramedics not acceptable

Photo © Patrick Flynn

Ambulance crews and paramedics in Tipperary are stretched to breaking point on a daily basis.

That’s the claim being made by local TD Michael Lowry who says recruitment issues has led to increased pressure being placed on them.

The Thurles Deputy says a recent attempt to recruit 32 paramedic resulted in 130 applicants making it through the interview stage. When expressions of interest were issued just seven came forward to accept a job.

Michael Lowry told Tipp FM that what’s on offer does not reflect the responsibility associated with the job.

“The National Ambulance Service is a mess – it is badly structured, it is underfunded and it is understaffed.

“The ambulance crews and paramedics are taking the brunt of a systems failure. Ambulance crews are not receiving proper or adequate pay. Their pay and conditions is no reflected in the huge responsibility of a lifesaving role”

Deputy Lowry says there’s a sense of disillusion and fatigue among paramedics in Tipperary and across the country

He feels until the role of the paramedic is valued in terms of pay and conditions the problems with staffing will continue.

“Ambulance staff across Tipperary are stretched to breaking point on a daily basis. They are exhausted, they are totally disillusioned with the failure of HSE management to recognise how serious and dangerous the situation is.

“This is now a national emergency which must be addressed by Government. To recruit and retain staff you must have an attractive package of remuneration.”