The head of the cross-party Oireachtas health committee has urged the HSE to immediately publish its detailed review of ambulance service gaps across the country, after concerns the investigation has been shelved.
The HSE capacity review was set up last February following a series of high-profile ambulance tragedies, and was tasked with uncovering service gaps, explaining where ambulances should be placed and ensuring call-out target response times are met.
At the launch of a separate Hiqa report last December —which found one-in-five ambulances are too old to be on the road — the watchdog’s chief executive, Phelim Quinn, said the HSE report would be published before Christmas. However, while a draft section of the overall report — which said Ireland is too rural to meet response times, and questioned whether patients should automatically be taken to hospital — was leaked in January, the investigation itself has yet to be revealed.
Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer said the document must be made public to ensure the safety of people dependent on the service.
“It is imperative and critical for the general public that we know the ambulance service capacity.
“We will be raising this at our next meeting on Thursday week.
“If it has not been published we will be raising it at our next quarterly meeting with the HSE, if not sooner,” he said.
A HSE spokesperson said the review will be “completed in due course”.
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