The inadequate ambulance service available to the people of County Roscommon was highlighted again by a very serious case that arose in Boyle last weekend. An elderly man suffered two collapsed lungs and an urgent call was made for an ambulance. The man lives just 20 yards from the ambulance base in Boyle. It took three and a half hours for an ambulance to arrive despite several people having made repeated emergency calls on his behalf. When it ambulance did arrive it emerged that there was no ambulance available in counties Roscommon or Leitrrim on the night. They even tried in Tuam but with no luck. When they got to Sligo Hospital there were 34 people on trolleys. Eventually the man got a bed after his relatives appealed to staff to look after him. A bed was made up in a storeroom, They sent him home after two days as there was no bed available for him.
This is another shocking example of how our vulnerable, ill elderly people are being treated. How many more cases do we have to highlight before something is done about this scandal. The staff who are working in the ambulance service are doing their best, but the service is understaffed, underfunded, and in need of a major injectnion of resources. Minister Varadkar has a crisis on his hands and it is about time he started addressing it.