Connemara residents form action group to campaign for ‘adequate’ ambulance service

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for an "adequate" ambulance service for Connemara.

Concerned residents have joined forces to form a crisis group with a view to putting pressure on the Government to achieve this aim. The organisation is made up of people from Leenane, Maam, Kylemore and Clifden.

A spokesperson for the group describes the current service as "totally inadequate" and alleges it can take up to three hours for an ambulance to arrive.

"We are battling to get an adequate ambulance service in Connemara as at present the norm seems to be a wait of two to three hours from call out time to time of arrival at the patient. As you can imagine this is completely inadequate."

The group warns that it is only a matter of time until a life is lost due to the delay transferring patients to hospital.

"Already this delay has impacted negatively on patients. For example, on victims of strokes where a fast transfer to hospital is vital.

"It is also highly disrespectful to the people living in this community - we feel discriminated against because of where we live. We need an adequate ambulance service for the area - one where the arrival time to the patient is reasonable and guaranteed."

The spokesperson says the Leenane/Maam/Kylemore/Renvyle/Clifden Ambulance Crisis Group is not taking issue with the actual time it takes ambulances to reach hospital as it accepts they have to travel long distances on narrow roads. "Our issue is the waiting time for the patient from call out to time of arrival at the patient."

The organisation is urging people to support its cause and sign its online petition on Change.org It has aleady got 1,069 signatures and is keen to achieve more names. The petition will be delivered to the Government and presented to representatives from the Department of Health as well as the Acting Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

"We are asking people to please add their signature to our petition - you do not have to live in Connemara to agree that we deserve an adequate ambulance service - please do sign - it takes two minutes."

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