Just one on four ambulances is meeting turnaround targets, leaving thousands of patients waiting to be transferred to hospitals – with Galway University Hospital having the worst record.
Figures released by the HSE show that, across the country, ambulances had to wait over an hour to transfer patients on 1,431 occasions in February
At Galway University Hospital, just 7.7% of ambulance calls achieved the target turnaround while almost 20% - or 158 ambulance calls – were forced to wait between one and two hours before being able to transfer patients and respond to other calls.
The latest figures were supplied to Fianna Fail’s Health spokesman Billy Kellegher, who says overcrowding in hospitals – coupled with staffing shortages – is having a knock-on effect across the health service, including ambulance services.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Tony Gregg of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association said the delays are almost always outside the control of paramedics, and come down to a lack of funding and services.