Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (201, 202)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

201. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the number of occasions on which the air ambulance service has been accessed in each of the past five years to date; the extent to which adequate resources remain available to the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21779/14]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

202. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which the importance of the air ambulance services has been noted in the context of the overall provision of services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21780/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 201 and 202 together.

The Emergency Aeromedical Support Service was a joint 12 month pilot project between the National Ambulance Service and the Air Corps, providing dedicated aeromedical support to the NAS in the west, specifically where land ambulance transit times would not be clinically appropriate.

An evaluation of the pilot found a clinical need for the service and that it should be established on a permanent basis. The Minister accepted the review’s findings and an inter-service group is currently examining how best to implement the report’s recommendations, including the longer term potential for all-island provision.

The Ministers for Health and Defence have agreed to extend aeromedical support by the Air Corps to the EAS until June 2014, pending decisions on how best to proceed following consideration of the report’s recommendations.

The statistical data sought by the Deputy is an operational matter and I have therefore referred his question to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to him.