It has come to my attention once again that a situation arose on Tuesday of this week whereby an ambulance crew from Longford had to attend a call in Roscommon at approximately 4.30pm. Later at 6pm a second ambulance crew from Longford attended a call in the Castlerea area. This meant that once again Longford was left without ambulance cover for a number of hours. This is the second time in the space of a month that this has happened and once again and it is a totally unacceptable situation. Despite I and others highlighting this issue constantly, nothing is being done by the Minister or the HSE. In addition I am also aware that both ambulance crews involved in those calls on Tuesday finished their shift a number of hours late meaning that they had to work a 14 to 15 hour shift which is very unfair on the staff who are working under severe pressure day after day. I am once again calling on Minister Varadkar to make a statement on this issue. In the past 24 hours we have heard about wheels falling off one ambulance in County Mayo, and the fact that there was only one ambulance in the Dublin area one night this week to cover 300,000 people. We have heard many fine statements from the Minister and others in recent weeks about how improvements are being made in the health service but the these ongoing incidents show that we are a long, long way from an acceptable service. The public deserve better and I will continue to highlight these problems until they are addressed.
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