Inexcusable delay by Ambulance Service grounding Community Helicopter – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the National Ambulance Service (NAS) must provide an immediate explanation as to why it has yet to make its recommendation on the commencement of operations for the Irish Community Rapid Response Air Ambulance (ICRR). Deputy McGrath was speaking as the ICRR, whose base in Co. Cork, released a statement on the matter which says that the delay is actively increasing the risk of the unnecessary loss of human life:


“I have been supporting the work of the ICRR for a number of years. Indeed I facilitated a Dáil briefing for them over two years ago.

Inexcusable delay by Ambulance Service grounding Community Helicopter - Mattie McGrath

Pictured are Deputy Mattie McGrath and Deputy Michael Harty with Members of the ICRR at a Briefing on the service at the AV Room in Leinster House.

This delay is an absolutely absurd situation that must be put right immediately. The ICRR have fulfilled all training and governance requirements as part of the requirements that must be in place before its operations can commence.


Yet despite this the NAS appears to be engaged in a form of reckless foot dragging that is preventing communities in the South-East from having a state of the art Air Ambulance at their disposal.


At this point we need the urgent intervention of the Minister for Health. He has to wake up to the serious nature of this delay and urge the NAS to send him the recommendation that will allow the ICRR Air Ambulance to begin its mission.


This is a fantastic community led initiative that is let down by the lethargic response of the NAS, the Department of Health and the failure of the Minister to escalate this issue as a priority.


Once again it is communities who are paying the price and that is totally unacceptable,” concluded Deputy McGrath.


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