Fianna Fail candidate for the Tuam area, Nora Fahy, has highlighted the growing crisis in the ambulance service in the region after a young east Galway mother was left waiting up to 45 minutes for an ambulance when her daughter had a seizure.
“The east Galway mother was left stranded when her young daughter had a seizure, she could have driven to Galway hospital in 20 minutes but called the ambulance as she thought it would be coming from Tuam. She is thankfully trained in first aid and gave her daughter mouth to mouth and all was well, however, it could have been a very different outcome,” said Nora Fahy.
The Glenamaddy woman, who is running for Fianna Fail in the Local Elections, said the Government and HSE management were in denial as large areas of the population in north Galway were left without ambulance cover. Fahy has called for more resources for regional ambulance services like the new base in Tuam following a series of alarming delays in the response time to emergencies in the past few months.
“Response times in the Tuam area now far exceed national and international norms. time. Lives are being put at risk as a result,” said Fahy.
The Fianna Fail candidate said it was clear that the service is under-funded and under-staffed.
“The centralisation of ambulance control and dispatch has led to serious inconsistencies in ambulance cover and a lack of local knowledge when it comes to responding to emergencies. For someone in a life-threatening emergency, instructions over the phone are no substitute for hands-on medical care. The bottom line is that the service is not adequately resourced and it is not properly managed at a national level.”
Fahy said Tuam was to be a 24 hour base serving more than 30,000 people in north Galway and south Mayo. “The reality is the Tuam ambulance base was built. but never really opened. Ambulances come from Galway and Castlebar to Tuam area and the Order of Malta helps out. The very least that the people of Tuam need is adequate response times for ambulance cover.”