EXCLUSIVE: A pensioner was left lying on the side of a road for almost half an hour because an ambulance was not available in the area.
The 67 year old male pedestrian was involved in a road traffic accident in Letterkenny on Monday evening.
But because no ambulance was available from nearby Letterkenny General Hospital, it took 26 minutes for an ambulance to travel from the far side of Ballybofey – almost 30 kms away.
The man, who is understood to have suffered fractures in the accident, was wrapped in blankets by attending Gardai.
A statement from the HSE to Donegal Daily confirmed that no ambulance was available locally because they were on other emergency calls.
“The National Ambulance Service can confirm an emergency 999/112 call was received for the Letterkenny area on 24th November 2014 at 17:33hrs.
“At the time the call was received a number of emergency resources in the area were engaged on other emergency calls. The nearest available emergency resource was dispatched to the incident and arrived at the scene at 17:59hrs.”
The incident, which occurred at the Oldtown Bridge in Letterkenny at around 5.30pm, is the latest in a number which throws a spotlight on ambulance response times in Co Donegal.
Last December Maura Porter lay dying for 50 minutes on the roadside beside her home in Carndonagh until am ambulance arrived
The 70 year old later passed away at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry from her injuries.
Her son Brendan, who had waited with his dying mother until the ambulance arrived, said the latest incident again highlights the shortcomings of the ambulance service.
“This only again highlights the fact that there are not enough ambulances on call for a county the size of Donegal.
“As well as that the ambulances that are on call are obviously not geographically spread out that all areas are covered.
“Thankfully this man’s injuries were not life-threatening but my mother was not so lucky,” he said.