Union calls for end to on-call system after ambulance crash13/10/2012 - 18:39:51
SIPTU has said that yesterday's ambulance crash highlights the need for the on-call system for paramedics to be abolished.
The trade union also said that the practice of putting its full-time paramedics on-call is putting the lives of ambulance drivers at risk.
The HSE has launched an investigation after a paramedic in Cork crashed while on duty yesterday morning.
It has been claimed that he fell asleep behind the wheel, after working a 22-hour shift.
The incident happened in Castletownbere and neither the driver nor the passenger were seriously injured in the crash.
Health sector industrial relations organiser with SIPTU, Ted Kenny, said that reform is needed before someone is killed.
"The HSE national ambulance service have agreed and stated in the court that, yes, it is an unsafe practice, and it has to be abolished,"
"The main reason that it hasn't been abolished to date is mainly to do with funding, and trying to get funding from the HSE.
"And one has to answer the question - 'Does some paramedic have to be killed on the road before the HSE wakes up and gives the necessary funding to … make sure that the health and safety of our members are upheld and protected'?"
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