SIPTU calls for intervention in ambulance shortageSunday 12 January 2014 22.10
SIPTU's Health Sector Organiser Paul Bell has said the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health should intervene on, what the union says, is a shortage of resources in the Irish Ambulance Service.
In a statement this afternoon SIPTU said the appeal follows reports of incidents where ambulance response times were not achieved, which may have led to tragic outcomes for patients.
Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme, Mr Bell also said the Health Information and Quality Authority is due to conduct a review of the ambulance service shortly and he appealed to them to examine the resources available.
"The public are losing some confidence in the ambulance service and indeed the moral of ambulance personnel is really suffering at this stage.
"A lot of public commentary is being made and I do believe that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health should actually intervene in this matter - bring all the stakeholders together - and find out what exactly is happening with the ambulance service."
In response to Mr Bell's comments, the Health Service Executive said while there has been a cut back in staff, there was an extra 124 staff in 2013 and a further 43 positions will be created in 2014.
The HSE said 27 ambulances, 25 intermediate care vehicles, and 25 paramedic cars were added in 2013, adding that all vehicles are now staffed and on the road.