The Health Service Executive (HSE) owes Dublin City Council €116.8m for the ambulance service provided by Dublin Fire Brigade, it has emerged.
The information was provided by Dublin City Council in response to a question asked by Sinn Fein councillor Daithí Doolan.
“The total cost of the DFB emergency ambulance service in 2022, is expected to be just under €26m,” the council said.
“The City Council expects to receive €9.18m from the HSE towards the cost of the DFB emergency ambulance service in 2022.
“The annual funding deficit has increased from an estimated €9.14m in 2014 to €16.5m in 2022.
“Taking the average of these two figures, then the arrears due over the 9-year period 2014 to 2022 is estimated at €116.8m.”
This estimate includes the potential mobilisation of DFB fire appliances in response to emergency ambulance calls when no ambulances are available from the DFB or the National Ambulance Service.
Doolan says the money owed could be used to develop much-needed infrastructure projects.
“At a time when City Council’s finances are over stretched it is unacceptable that a State agency is holding the council to ransom,” he says.
“The funding deficit has increased from €9.41m to €16.55m since 2014.
“This funding could be used for badly needed housing, community centres and recreational services.
“The responsibility for this fiasco lies squarely at the foot of the Government.
“Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly must release the money owed to Dublin City Council as a matter of urgency,” he says.
In June, Dublin Fire Brigade announced that it had hired an extra 44 firefighters after concerns were raised about low staffing levels.
Addressing the recruit firefighters the then Lord Mayor of Dublin councillor Alison Gilliland said: “Dublin Fire Brigade’s emergency fire and ambulance personnel go about their work in a dedicated, professional and courageous manner.
“They have earned great respect and are rightfully held in high esteem.”