Fine Gael will, if re-elected to Government, establish a special fund to buy defibrillators for public places, such as schools, and to cover the cost of VAT charged on defibrillators.
Tackling VAT on life-saving equipment, such as defibrillators, is one of the issues which I’ve worked on as TD.
Because VAT is one of the main sources of funding for the EU it is covered by EU law across Europe which makes changes to VAT rates and categories very complicated. Providing a fund which will cover the cost of VAT is a very workable solution and will reduce the cost of life-saving equipment and increase the number of defibrillators in communities across Galway.
This fund will build on the work of Fine Gael in Government in developing and supporting life-saving services such as the creation of Community First Responder teams, the establishment of a permanent Emergency Aero-medical Service, and investment of the National Ambulance Service.
The deployment of more ambulances and emergency response vehicles in more rural areas of Galway, such as North Commeara, is an issue which will be helped through additional funding provided for by Health Minister, Leo Varadkar, for the procurement of fifty new ambulances and the refurbishment of 35 others this year.