ELECTION candidates who initially centred their campaigning around the ambulance service in north Kildare are unhappy with the claims made by the HSE on the service.
Brendan Young, a Community Solidarity candidate in the Celbridge-Leixlip area, said this week he was “outraged” by HSE claims that the Irish ambulance service is top class, stating the Government spent €86m on Irish Water consultants but won’t spent €78m on the ambulance service
Mr. Young said the Maynooth ambulance base – which covers a population of over 60,000 in Celbridge, Leixlip, Clane, Kilcock, Straffan and Maynooth – is closed from 7am til 7pm every Thursday.
Mr. Young along with other candidates, Martin Grehan (People Before Profit) and Reada Cronin (Sinn Fein) have organised a protest in Maynooth Square at 12 noon this Saturday, 5 April, calling for restoration of Thursdays’ ambulances.
Mr. Young said they are asking anybody who has recently called an ambulance and it has been slow to arrive to contact us.
“We intend to make a group submission to the HSE and HIQA.. We also support the ambulance drivers, who are prevented from providing a proper service due to cuts.”
Mr. Young said Thursday closures mean an ambulance has to come from Athy, Naas, Dublin or Cavan – an hour and more away.
Delays like this can mean the difference between life and death, or long-term disability, he said.
Maynooth ambulances are also being sent far outside Kildare to cover closures in Swords and Tallaght on other days – and shift cancellations elsewhere. “So in reality there is only a skeleton service in North Kildare, six days a week at best,” he said.
Concern has been expressed about the service, both nationally and locally. Last week, the Leader reported that a man injured in a traffic accident near Narraghmore had to wait over an hour for the an ambulance.
When one arrived 35 minutes after the call, it broke down.