[Sinn Fein]

31st January 2003

Minister Martin must allow Ambulance Staff do their job

Sinn Fein Meath County Councillor Joe Reilly has called on Health Minister Micháel Martin to untie the hands of Ambulance staff and let them provide the emergency medical treatment that they are trained to do. At present, Emergency Medical Technicians(EMT's) are only permitted to provide the most basic medical treatment irrespective of the danger their patients are in.

Cllr Reilly said:

``It has come to my attention that the Emergency Medical Technicians(EMT's), who staff the ambulance service state wide, are prevented from carrying out emergency medical procedures that they are fully trained to do. This is due to the failure of the Minister for Health and Children Micháel Martin to sign the regulations that would allow the EMT's to provide more extensive medical treatment en-route to hospital.

``EMT's are becomming increasingly angry and frustrated that, irrespective of the danger to their patients, they are only allowed to carry out very basic medical procedures. The onus is now on Micháel Martin to put this situation right.

``I am calling on the minister to sign the necessary regulations and allow the EMT's to carry the full medical procedures that they are trained to do. Failure on his part to do so can only place people's lives and health at an unnecessary risk.

``I will also be asking Caoimghín Ó Caoláin TD, Sinn Fein's Dáil Group Leader and spokesperson on health to raise the issue in the Dail with Minister Martin.''

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