A West Clare Councillor is in favour of dispatching ambulances from the county’s fire stations.
It comes as nearly 30% of all ambulance arrivals at the region’s main hospital so far this year have originated in Clare.
In the first seven months of the year, 14,000 ambulances brought patients to the region’s main hospital.
Of those, over 4,100 originated in Clare, with more than 1,800 being classified as life-threatening emergencies.
Outside of Limerick, this means that county Clare makes up the largest portion of emergency arrivals to the ED at University Hospital Limerick.
This information has led to renewed calls for service provision at Ennis Hospital to be examined, with the potential for the emergency department in the county town to be reopened.
However, while local representatives say this would be the ideal outcome, they’re not convinced such action will be taken.
Ennis Fine Gael Councillor Mary Howard is pushing instead for the protocol for paramedics to be amended.
Councillor Howard, who’s also a member of the Regional Health Forum West, wants ambulance personnel given the ability to make clinical decisions as to where patients are directed, rather than being obliged to bring people to UHL.
A West Clare Councillor would also like to see the possibility of additional responsibility being allocated to the county’s fire brigade.
Kilkee Fianna Fáil Councillor, Cillian Murphy is concerned that the requirement to deliver patients to UHL, means that ambulances are often unavailable in the county when needed.
Previously, the local authority was responsible for ambulance provision in the county, and units were dispatched from fire stations.
Councillor Murphy believes members of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service could be tasked with delivering care in specific emergencies.
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