[Sinn Fein]

23rd April 1999

Emergency Ambulance Delay - Unacceptable

Sinn Fein's European candidate for Dublin, Seán Crowe has claimed that there is a breakdown in the emergency services in Dublin. ``People critically injured in accidents are lying at the side of the road awaiting treatment, while in many cases, the nearest ambulance is not contacted `` the Tallaght man alleged.

Mr Crowe said:

``The emergency dispatch system isn't responding to accidents in the most effective way. The system whereby the nearest Ambulance is ignored or overlooked by dispatchers needs to be urgently addressed and examined by the Minister responsible, Brian Cowan. I have contacted his Department about two recent examples in the Tallaght area where the nearest ambulance in Tallaght Hospital was not contacted after serious accidents in the area.

``This breakdown in the system literally involves the difference between the life and death of accident victims. The Minister needs to carry out an immediate investigation. He needs to sort out the bureaucracy that is creating the breakdown in accident response, every minute delayed could exacerbate the injuries of accident victims . His investigation needs to pay particular attention to the system where the nearest ambulance has in the past been ignored.'' ENDS

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