Ambulance service requires nearly €280m investment, says HSE
In an internal assessment, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has projected that the National Ambulance Service requires €277 million in capital investment over a 10-year period.
The HSE estimated that only about a quarter of the country’s ambulance stations are fit for purpose, with most suffering from low maintenance budgets and claims a €109 million investment in ambulance stations in needed.
“Of the 96 locations, 21 are deemed fit for purpose, 54 require replacement and the remainder require refurbishment and/or extension. Recently completed facilities include Tuam, Carnew, Kenmare, Wicklow and Swords. It is clear, however, that the existing estate has suffered from a lack of investment and a low maintenance budget for some time,” the assessment says.
“There is are concerns about health and safety issues in some locations, and many are overcrowded because of increased staffing levels. It is recognised that some of the existing ambulance stations are in the wrong place to maximise response times.”
The HSE document also suggests that an investment of €20 million is required to provide an additional 77 emergency vehicles over the next five years. The National Ambulance Service currently has a fleet of more than 500 vehicles.