NEWS

Ambulance concerns in South Donegal raised with health minister

Concerns raised about situation at Killybegs ambulance base

Declan Magee

Reporter:

Declan Magee

Email:

editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Meeting on ambulance service

From left to right: Manus Boyle, Mickey Doherty, Joe McHugh, and Noel McBride who attended a meeting with health minister Simon Harris.

Health minister Simon Harris has met with a delegation from Donegal to discuss concerns about the ambulance service in South Donegal.
The health minister has given a commitment that the head of the National Ambulance will look into the situation.
Concerns were raised last month at the Donegal Municipal District by Fine Gael Donegal County Councillor Barry O’Neill about the situation at the Killybegs ambulance base.
He said it was a shameful situation that “an ambulance is parked up in Killybegs and has not been utilised as staffing has been withdrawn for a back-up crew”.
In a response to a query from the Donegal Democrat the National Ambulance Service (NAS) said there are two ambulances assigned to the Killybegs ambulance base with one ambulance on duty at any time on a 24/7 basis. “The second ambulance is a backup ambulance to ensure efficient changeover in case crews get delayed,” the NAS said.
Donegal TD and government chief whip Joe McHugh hosted a delegation from the county at Government Buildings on Tuesday evening for a meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris.

Discussions
Discussions centred on ambulance services, including in the Killybegs area.
Mr McHugh said: “Our meeting in Government Buildings was a valuable opportunity to sit down and discuss issues relating to the ambulance service in Donegal.
“I would like to thank Health Minister Simon Harris for taking the time to hear from the delegation and to listen to the concerns they have.
“I am also arranging for the delegation to hold discussions with the head of the National Ambulance Service in the coming weeks where they can set out the distinct needs of the region.”
The delegation included Manus Boyle, Noel McBride, Tom Slater and Mickey Doherty.
Mr McHugh said: “I will continue to facilitate discussions at a high level in Government on these vitally important issues and I am also coordinating a meeting in the coming weeks with Minister Harris and a delegation involved in cancer care in Donegal.
“Securing improved services for South and West Donegal is a key priority and these meetings are an essential step in my work delivering for the county,” Deputy McHugh said after the meeting.
The Killybegs Ambulance base covers Inver, Dunkineely, Killybegs, Kilcar, Carrick, Glencolumcille, Ardara, Glenties and into Fintown.
Cllr. O’Neill has called on representatives from the National Ambulance Service to attend the Donegal Municipal District to outline why they have withdrawn the back-up crew from Killybegs and in the process have effectively decommissioned an ambulance.