LIVES WILL be put at risk if the HSE goes ahead with a decision to cut ambulance hours from Swords this week. That is the claim made by Senator Darragh O'Brien who said the service in Swords faces significant cuts this week that will put lives at risk across the north county.
The Fianna Fáil Senator has learned that from September 4th there will no longer be a HSE emergency ambulance in the Swords area between 7am and 7pm. If there are any emergencies in the area during this time, an ambulance will have to travel from Loughlinstown on the Wicklow border.
He said: ' This is an absolutely crazy cut that will certainly put lives at risk. People can't choose not to have a heart attack, a stroke, a fall or another emergency on a Tuesday.' Senator O'Brien who has held talks with the staff affected by the cuts, said: 'From this week on, the HSE will have to summon the ambulance from Loughlinstown on the Wicklow border to deal with any emergencies in the greater Swords area between 7am and 7pm on Tuesdays.
'Not only will this leave patients here waiting up to an hour for their ambulance arrive, the drivers are also unlikely to have the local knowledge that's essential for ensuring a speedy response.' He added: 'In addition to this on other days of the week, our local HSE ambulance will be forced to travel right across the city to cover similar ambulance cuts in other areas. ' This will leave more gaps in our local emergency service at other times throughout the week.'
Senator O'Brien concluded: 'The HSE ambulance depot in Swords serves 50,000 people across north county Dublin. There is no doubt in my mind that lives will be put at risk as a direct result of these cuts. Meanwhile, the savings to the health service will be negligible. 'I am asking the Health Minister James Reilly see some sense here. The risks associated with these cuts will far outweigh any small savings that could possibly be achieved.'