Personal use of ambulances by senior managers under review, says Howlin

Toibin says ambulances idle outside houses for weeks at a time

Peadar Toibín: “Despite the life-threatening absence of ambulances around the State, 60 senior management drive home, for their own purposes, in fully kitted-out ambulances worth €100,000,’’

Peadar Toibín: “Despite the life-threatening absence of ambulances around the State, 60 senior management drive home, for their own purposes, in fully kitted-out ambulances worth €100,000,’’

 

The Department of Health was reviewing the personal use of ambulances by managers in the service, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin told the Dáil.

The Minister said there was a need to ensure “we configure a service that is as efficient as we can make it, that takes account of best international practice and with a focus on the best outcome for the people who depend on our health service’’.

He was replying to Peadar Tóibín (SF) who said a recent RTÉ Prime Time programme had indicated what things were like on the ground.


Driven home
“Despite the life-threatening absence of ambulances around the State, 60 senior management drive home, for their own purposes, in fully kitted-out ambulances worth €100,000,’’ Mr Tóibín added. “These vehicles lie mostly idle outside their houses for weeks at a time, and we, the taxpayers, are filling their tanks.’’

He said taxpayers’ money, in the ambulance sector, was intended to save people’s lives, but it was being siphoned off “to blue light senior managers on their way home’’. It smacked to him, he added, of the culture of entitlement that was rife under Fianna Fáil and still coming to light in issues relating to the Central Remedial Clinic and Rehab.

Mr Howlin said the National Ambulance Service was working to modernise and reconfigure its services to ensure emergency pre-hospital care was delivered in an appropriate and timely manner. In particular, he added, a single national control system was being developed.