Advanced paramedic team to serve north Cork
AN advanced paramedic team will be in place in North Cork from some time in the first quarter of next year - but the team will be based out of Cork city.
A similar paramedic team has been operating on a pilot basis in West Cork and has been an overwhelming success in its first few weeks of operation, a meeting of the Regional Health Forum heard last Thursday.
The plan is for five teams in the South West region - one in West Cork, one in North Cork, one in Kerry and one in Cork city - to be launched in that order.
The highly trained paramedics are in a position to carry out a range of interventions - from inserting lines and air tubes to administering strong pain medication - that otherwise could not be carried out outside of a hospital. They have a direct tele-link with CUH and are qualifed to decide what, if any, hospital services will be required.
Numerous councillors paid tribute to the work being carried out by the team in West Cork and Councillor Danny Crowley, who himself lives on the Beara peninsula noted: “Already it has made a huge difference down in that corner of the county.”
Professor John Higgins, who is the Director of Reconfiguration for Cork and Kerry, stressed: “The plan is to cover the entire region with advanced paramedics. We need to have a pod in West Cork, in Kerry, in the city, and in North Cork, and we are putting a simliar team into North Cork in the coming months.”
Professor Higgins indicated a starting date for the team in North Cork of the first quarter of 2010. He said the North Cork base would, for the moment, be in the city. “It's possible to do that effectively because the geography is different from West Cork,” he said.
When pushed for a Mallow location by Councillor Collins, Higgins
said: “Ultimately, when we have the four teams in place, we could have one based in Mallow, but in the interim it will be in the city.”