Medical buses should deal with drink incidents, says consultant

Similar services treating modest injuries and drug side effects exist in the UK

An emergency medicine consultant is calling on bars and nightclubs to pay for “medical buses” to deal with drink related incidents in a bid to take pressure off A&E departments.

Dr Chris Luke, a consultant in emergency medicine at Cork University Hospital, says that clubs and pubs are very profitable and should contribute towards such a medical service.

He told Newstalk Breakfast that he had seen similar services introduced in Liverpool 25 years ago when he worked there.

“Most people who come in require modest medical treatment.”


Dr Luke said accident and emergency departments at weekends frequently have to cope with young people requiring medical attention after festivals or discos.

He said the proposed medical buses would deal with 10 to 20 cases a night, mainly in relation to drink and mild side effects from taking drugs along with minor drink-related injuries.

If any require further medical care there is a good system with advance paramedics and emergency physicians who can come to the scene as they do with major road accidents.

Such systems already operate successfully in Belfast and Bristol, he added.

“It won’t happen unless there is pressure from chambers of commerce.”