New air ambulance service for West

The Government has unveiled a new air ambulance service to focus on the West of the country.

The Government has unveiled a new air ambulance service to focus on the West of the country.

The pilot project will see the Air Corps provide dedicated support to the HSE.

Based at Custume Barracks in Athlone it will cost €1m a year to run.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly says it will ensure seriously ill patients in Western counties can get the treatment they need.

"Well it's a national service but it's focused on the western seaboard where we have the longest travel times to address that issue … where ambulance crews are gone form the area for quite long periods of time travelling to Galway or Dublin," he said.

"This will obviously, for seriously ill cases, make a huge difference.

"It will also ensure that we are able to meet the 90-minute requirement for heart attacks."

More in this section