The National Ambulance Service has apologised to a woman, who was kept waiting for almost an hour for an ambulance, at her home in Annascaul last Sunday.
The ambulance service said the call was clinically triaged and a decision was made not to dispatch a crew immediately. However, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae has accused the National Ambulance Service of playing with people’s lives in deciding when a 999 call is an emergency. The National Ambulance Service has confirmed the emergency call was received at 7.30am on Sunday morning and was clinically triaged using its Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System. The call was determined to be a “low acuity call” and the dispatcher made the decision not to send the night ambulance crew, which had already completed 11 ½ hours of their shift. A statement said by completing this call, it would have added an additional three or four hours to the shift, and the dispatcher was also cognisant of the Orange weather warning issued for Kerry.
The duty ambulance was then allocated to the call at 8.03am and arrived at the woman’s address in Annascaul at 8.28am.
The National Ambulance Service has apologised to the patient and her family for any additional pain or suffering, which may have occurred.
However, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae has accused the ambulance control centre in Dublin of deferring calls.
He says he’s aware of three similar incidents in the west Kerry area over the past month and that lives are being put at risk: