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Taoiseach gets ambulance for sick youth

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Kilcoyne calls for investigation into ambulance service


Anton McNulty

AN Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has been called on to investigate the ambulance service in Mayo in the aftermath of the service refusing to provide an ambulance to transfer an 18-year-old from Beaumont Hospital to Castlebar.
The 18-year-old male from Castlebar was recovering from a serious operation to remove a tumour from his spine in Beaumont Hospital and an ambulance was requested last Friday to transfer him to Mayo General Hospital (MGH).
However, due to cutbacks and the economic situation the ambulance service could not send an ambulance to Dublin unless they were already going to Dublin with a patient. The mother of the patient contacted Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne who went on Mid West Radio on Saturday evening and called on An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to personally intervene in the matter.
Cllr Kilcoyne told The Mayo News on Monday that an empty ambulance was sent to Beaumont on Sunday to transfer the patient to MGH, and he understood it was because of an intervention by the Taoiseach.
However, Cllr Kilcoyne said that he was told by the ambulance service that because the ambulance was sent to Dublin, Mayo was ‘left without adequate cover’ on Sunday. He called on Enda Kenny as the TD for Mayo to investigate how the county was being left without an adequate ambulance service.
“I am glad that he did intervene but this should not be allowed to happen. The boy’s mother was very upset and if an ambulance had not gone up for him he would be still in Beaumont taking up a bed when he should be in Castlebar. To bring him to Mayo, the family would have had to hire a private ambulance which was out of the question.
“The HSE is now under the direct control of the Minister for Health, who is answerable to the Taoiseach and I want an investigation into the ambulance service in Mayo. This is terrible stuff and it should not be allowed to happen in the constituency of the Taoiseach,” he said.
Cllr Kilcoyne said he was also unhappy with the level of care the young man received in MGH who had initially failed to diagnose him.
“This lad had serious pain in his back but after three or four days in hospital the consultant decided to discharge him. His mother insisted on a second opinion and a scan showed a tumour on his spine. If she had not stood up for him, he could have ended up paralysed if he was not operated on,” he said.