Kieran McCarthy MLA: “These plans are a total disgrace. The ambulance service staff do a brilliant job but they are stretched to the limit as it is without further cuts. Only this week a constituent of mine had to wait 20 hours to get an ambulance out of hospital. The heath service is going from one cut to another such as the threat of the closure of the minor ailment service that pharmacies provide
“The length of time it takes for a person to receive medical attention can often be the difference between life and death. These new rapid response vehicles can not replace a fully equipped ambulance.
“Instead of announcing cuts in ambulance cover the Health Minister should have been announcing the introduction of new ambulances to replace those that are too old to be on the road. If Michael McGimpsey has to make efficiency savings in his budget then he should look elsewhere and not at front line services.
“I will be doing all that is possible to oppose these proposals”