asked the Minister for Health if he has seen reports to the effect that more than half the country's ambulances are mechanically defective, and that 26 ambulances had to be put off the road because of major defects; and if he will take steps to remedy this most impossible situation in regard to vital services concerning severely ill persons.
Written Answers. - Defective Ambulances.
I am aware of the reports to which the Deputy refers. However, the figures quoted do not differentiate between health board owned vehicles and those owned by private or voluntary groups.
I am satisfied from the information available to me that no ambulance owned by a health board was required to be permanently removed from service as a result of failing a vehicle safety test.
Vehicles which had failed the test did so for defects such as faulty reflectors, lights, indicators etc. and these defects were remedied prior to the vehicle being resubmitted for the test.
There was no reduction in the vital accident and emergency ambulance service to the general public as a result of these vehicle tests.