I want to raise the serious matter of the case of a constituent of mine who has spent 14 months in hospital recently. This man is severely disabled and prior to being hospitalised he lived quite happily in his own home with the aid the the health services available to him. However since he was released from hospital he has missed two hospital appointments because there was no ambulance available to bring him, and he was only informed the day before or on the day of the appointment. For one appointment the ambulance was late, and and when the man arrived at the hospital the clinics had ended. This man has another appointment next Thursday for Roscommon hospital but he has been told to call on Wednesday to see if there is an ambulance available.
What sort of a situation is this? Here we have a consultant waiting, an ambulance is booked a week in advance but now there is no guarantee of that appointment going ahead. It’s completely unacceptable. Is Minister Finian McGrath the Minister for people with disabilities,Simon Harris who is the Minister for Health, and Minister Helen McEntee who deals with mental health issues aware that this is going on? This was brought to the attention of the previous Minister many times so they should know. They have stood up in the Dail many times critisising the health system and what needs to be done but as far as I’m concerned they are turning a blind eye to what’s going on. Do these Ministers live in the real world or are they worried about these people at all? At the end of the day if these people are looked after and brought to their appointments when they should be brought, it might prevent them from being in hospital for 14 months at a time and save money in the long run