Ward anger at HSE ‘ignoring’ of patients

At the most recent meeting of the HSE West, Roscommon Independent Cllr. Tony Ward asked that the HSE provide a transport system for elderly and disabled patients who are  attending a local or regional hospital.   In reply, the HSE told Cllr. Ward that there is no statutory requirement on them to provide transport for patients attending its facilities.    The HSE say that they do provide a service for the following patients: Oncology, Dialysis, patients with acute lower limb injuries and transplant patients (for one year after the operation).   In their reply, the HSE say that ‘our service does not have the level of financial resources to provide transport for patients ouside those categories.’   The HSE say that the cost of ambulance patient transport in 2007 will be €2,641,360 with 36,144 patients being looked after and it concludes by saying that the provision of emergency services is alwsy the first priority in this sector.   Cllr. Ward says that he is very unhappy with the answer from the HSE. ‘There is a category being ignored altogether and that is the  patients who are elderly or who have suffered a stroke or people who have severe arthritis.      ‘There are many people who experience severe difficulties trying to get to appointments at local and regional hoispitals and there should be transport provided for them’ he says.   Cllr. Ward says that he will not let the matter rest. ‘I’m very unhappy with the answer that I got. I will be raising the matter with Frank Murphy (the relevant HSE administrator) the first chance I get and I think I that’s it’s most unfair on a lot of people that they simply cannot get to appointments.    ‘I don’t accept that there can’t be funding made available for these people’ he concluded.