Cutbacks will cost lives

Lives will be lost in Kilkenny because of the state of the ambulance service. That’s the opinion of medical personnel following a number of incidents.

Lives will be lost in Kilkenny because of the state of the ambulance service. That’s the opinion of medical personnel following a number of incidents.

A woman in Carlow town may well be alive today if there was an extra ambulance on duty in Carlow town on the night she had an asthma attack.

Because there is only one ambulance on duty in Carlow during the busy weekend period, an ambulance had to be sent from Kilkenny because the Carlow one had already been called out.

While the crew were going to the scene, the woman had a heart attack which killed her. Morale in the service is at an all time low due to cut backs and trying to run an emergency service on a shoe string budget is taking its toll.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone dies because of the lack of ambulance cover in Kilkenny,” a medical person has claimed. This is despite the fact there is an increase in 999 calls at weekends, when only thre ambulances are on duty. This comes as drink-related incidents increase and the number of 999 calls continues to grow.

Staff are agitated that budgets now take precedent over their welfare and they have seen minor cuts, week in and week out, leading to a lack of motivation and an increase in stress in what is an already difficult occupation, dealing with those seriously injured or ill. And even when there is cover for Kilkenny ambulances becase someone is out sick, it comes from South Tipperary and these drivers are not familar with the terrain leading to delays in getting to the scene of an accident or where a person is serioasly ill and minutes can be difference between saving alife or losing a patient.