Lack of HSE funding for DFB Ambulance Service a disgrace – says Sinn Féin’s Cllr Daithí Doolan  

by Rose Barrett
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ambulance, dublin fire brigade

When almost every sector of society requires financial support during these difficult times, Sinn Féin’s Cllr Daithí Doolan questions why there has been no increase in funding for the vital services of Dublin Fire Brigade’s (DFB) Emergency Ambulances.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) lack of funding for DFB Emergency Ambulance Service must be addressed as a matter of urgency by the Department of Health.

The SF Cllr for Ballyfermot Drimnagh stated the HSE’s lack of funding for Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency Ambulance Service must be addressed as a matter of urgency by the Department of Health.

“The report at a recent Special Committee on Fire, Ambulance Services and Emergency Management was damning of the HSE’s refusal to adequately fund the emergency ambulance service.

“The HSE made a contribution of €9.1m out of a total cost of €18.6m back in 2013. Their contribution remains at €9.1m even though the cost has increased to €29.6m.”

In response, a spokesperson for the HSE stated: “The HSE values the long standing relationship between the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and the Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB). The DFB is a local authority fire and rescue service and ambulance service and is a branch of Dublin City Council (DCC). The current funding support arrangements between the HSE and DCC are grounded in the recommendations of the Review of Ambulance Services in Ireland 1993.

“The HSE, on the basis of the current arrangements, makes a financial contribution to DCC towards the pay costs, superannuation costs, and non-pay costs relevant to 105 whole time equivalents (WTEs) within DFB for the provision of 11 emergency ambulances on a 24/7 basis.”

He further added there is currently no Service Level Agreement in place between the HSE and DCC “to vary the amount of the contribution made or accede to, agree with or accept any alternative costing model. In recent years, and in the interests of interoperability and procurement economies of scale, the HSE has also directly provided for the capital replacement of DFB emergency ambulances.”

Cllr Doolan noted the outstanding bill is paid by Dublin’s four local authorities. “This year alone the ambulance service has been mobilised 55,617 times. The refusal by the HSE to increase their contribution is wholly unacceptable”

Cllr Doolan called on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD to step up and ensure his department fully fund this service. “He can no longer ignore this growing crisis,” concluded Cllr Doolan.

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