A MAYO TD has raised concerns with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over ambulance cover and response times in the county.
Deputy Lisa Chambers told him that every citizen should have access to proper and sufficient ambulance cover.
She elaborated: “HIQA requires that an ambulance respond to a life-threatening incident within seven minutes and 59 seconds.
“In the area of south Mayo it is physically impossible for an ambulance to get from Castlebar, the nearest base, to Ballinrobe and surrounding areas.
“There has been an ongoing campaign for a permanent, fully staffed ambulance base in Ballinrobe to service the south Mayo area.
“Will the Taoiseach give a commitment that he will endeavour to get this organised and delivered without delay?”
In response, An Taoiseach said the budget for the National Ambulance Service is being increased year on year.
He stated: “I think the increase this year is in the region of €5 million. This has allowed for additional staff and ambulances and improved bases in Tuam and Mulranny, among other places around the country.
“The decision as to how best to allocate ambulances around the country is best made by the experts in this field, that is, the National Ambulance Service itself.”
New figures released today by the National Ambulance Service revealed that HIQA standards for ambulance response times are only being met in 52% of cases in Mayo.