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Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick seeks more accountability as injured Louth footballer waited two hours for ambulance



A footballer who sustained an injury during a match in Dundalk waited almost two hours for an ambulance to arrive, according to Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick.

Deputy Fitzpatrick raised the case directly with Taoiseach Michael Martin as he queried ambulance response times during a Dail debate.

“Every day the National Ambulance Service, NAS, deploys approximately 160 to 180 emergency ambulances, an average of 22 rapid response vehicles and in excess of 50 officer response vehicles operating in over 100 locations across the country.”

“Life-threatening calls are split into two categories, namely, delta, which are non-cardiac and non-respiratory calls, and echo, which are life-threatening cardiac and respiratory calls. Echo and delta calls account for approximately 45% of all 112 and 999 calls.”

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The Dundalk TD asked: “Why is it taking so long for ambulances to arrive? In some cases, vehicles are taking between one and two hours to reach people. At a football match in Dundalk recently a young footballer with a spinal injury had to wait for nearly two hours for an ambulance to arrive."

He added: “I know this is the responsibility of the Minister for Health but nobody appears to be accountable for the process management side. There needs to be more accountability when it comes to waiting times. Who is accountable?

Taoiseach Michael Martin said he would engage with the NAS on the case mentioned and alert it to the points Deputy Fitzpatrick raised.

"Increased resources have been provided in this year's estimates to the NAS in respect of increasing capacity and so forth. The objective is to get the ambulances to people as quickly as possible but issues have been raised in the House of late and I will pursue those with the service,” said the Taoiseach.