Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly asked the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Kathleen Lynch, to address the return the two emergency ambulances to Kerry as the current shortage of emergency ambulances is putting lives at risk.
This weekend will see people from all over Cork and Kerry travel to Killarney for the Munster Football Final, which will see the population increase by 3-fold and the Emergency Ambulance Service is still in crisis.
Minister Lynch spoke at the Commencement of Seanad Eireann today on how Kerry has undergone a huge programme of cuts in recent years. All calls for ambulance services for the Kerry region are now taken in Tallaght at the National Emergency Operations Centre.
The main issue remains the fact that there are not enough emergency ambulances operating in Kerry. The removal of ambulance services from Millstreet and Killarney over the last 2 years has had a significant impact on response times and many community stakeholders, including Senator Daly, have argued that patients suffer due to funding cutbacks which will ultimately lead to an increase in fatalities.
The Government needs to recognise that these cutbacks actually lead to an increase in costs if those who suffer strokes and heart attacks do not receive immediate care from the emergency ambulance service because they would subsequently require long-term care to ensure a chance of full recovery.