South-east sees major rise in emergency calls for ambulance service

There has been a 57% rise in emergency ambulance calls in the south-east since 2014.

The number of life-threatening calls in the same period increased by 33% from 2014 to 2016.

In 2016, only 56% of life-threatening calls had an ambulance at the scene within 19 minutes, a drop from 61% in 2014.

Sinn Féin Deputy David Cullinane says these figures are similar right across the country.

However, he is warning the numbers reinforce the need for emergency services at University Hospital Waterford.

Hesaid: "Obviously there's a concern that the number of emergency calls has increased which shows that there is more pressure on the service and yet the staff numbers and capacity has not increased.

"So, while the staff do a first-class job in responding to the calls, the data and the figures show that we have more life-threatening calls in the south-east and the response times are dropping, and that's a worry for people who are living in the south-east."

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