27 March 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan says funding must be found to ensure that the essential air ambulance service which operates in the region can be maintained.
He was responding to the news that the community funded service, which launched eight months ago, will be forced to suspend operations next week because it doesn’t have enough funding.
Deputy Moynihan said, “Communities across Cork and Kerry came together to get this service off the ground and in the eight months it has been up and running it has responded to more than 350 call-outs across the south. It is an essential medical response service and has undoubtedly saved lives in the short time it has been operational.
“The Irish Community Rapid Response (ICCR) and the National Ambulance Service have been running the service but are now warning that they will have to ground the helicopter from next Friday because they have run out of funding.
“This is a seriously worrying development and must be addressed. The funding must be found to keep this essential service operational, otherwise lives will be lost.
“I understand our health services are pushed to the limit as the COVID 19 pandemic continues, however, our emergency services must be resourced. Helicopter emergency medical services need to be protected and I am calling on the Health Minister to intervene and ensure that this vital resource is maintained”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.