THE LEFT WING Socialist Workers Party today issued a statement opposing plans to locate a new HSE ambulance control centre in Ballyshannon.
Another centre is being located in Dublin as 12 regional centres are closed down. More than 50 jobs are being created in the south Donegal town as a result.
The SWP said today: “The first to close is in Tralee, Co.Kerry on January 12…in that region the densely populated cities of Cork and Limerick will be without a service.
“This will be followed by the closure of a centre in Castlebar, Co.Mayo just six weeks later.
The closing of these centres is part of an overall plan to ‘centralise’ countrywide services.
A plan set out by HSE is for there to be two ‘super-centres’ in Dublin, and Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.
“Emergency calls to Castlebar (dealing with Galway, Mayo and Roscommon), receives over 100,000 calls per year.
“As this is three times more than that of Ballyshannon in Donegal, the move to Tanaiste Mary Coughlan’s constituency is seen as cynical and politically driven.
“The introduction of these plans could lead to redundancies, and will also mean the redeployment of over 120 workers. It’s another brutal cut by the HSE.
“Increasing buying-in of private ambulance services is wasting public money, and points to the running down of the HSE’s ambulance fleet.
“Failings in the HSE ambulance service were laid bare in a report submitted to the state spending watchdog. These failings are in truth the result of private profit being put before the safety of public health services. Privatisation may literally kill us.”