A Galway GP claims that an ambulance had to travel 131 km from north Mayo to attend a heart attack case in south Connemara last week.
Dr Peter Sloane, who has a general practise in Carraroe, said it was an “utter disgrace” that there was no closer ambulance available.
According to the Irish Times, the case last Friday involved a patient with a heart attack, and the ambulance sent from Ballina took 90 minutes to arrive in Carraroe, via Maam Cross.
Dr Sloane needed to see an elderly patient who was very unwell, but could not leave the patient with the heart attack until the ambulance arrived.
Carraroe has an ambulance base, and Galway city provides back-up cover, but Dr Sloane said he understood there were insufficient ambulance crews available.
Pressure on University Hospital Galway’s emergency department can also delay crews taking in patients.
Dr Sloane said the round-trip by the ambulance to and from north Mayo was equivalent to an ambulance in Athlone being sent to an area of Dublin and back.
He's highlighted the urgent need to provide more ambulances and more emergency medical technicians.
The HSE says the call was triaged, using the internationally-recognised advanced medical priority dispatch system, and the closest emergency ambulance was immediately dispatched to the scene.