‘Shocking’ Ukrainian refugees in Inishowen forced to use ambulances and hospitals because they have no PPS number: Pringle

A Donegal TD says it is unacceptable Ukrainian refugees in Inishowen are having to use ambulances and hospitals instead of GPs because they haven’t been given Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers.

Independent TD Thomas Pringle said families fleeing the war need to be given PPS numbers so they can access primary medical care.

"They were moved up to Donegal without these numbers having been applied for, which means that they are using hospital and ambulance services because are no doctors available.

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"That is a shocking situation for them to be in. This is also happening with Ukrainian refugees in Buncrana and Carndonagh where they are using ambulance services because they have no doctors available,” said Deputy Pringle.

Thomas Pringle

He believes this is leading to unfair and inaccurate perceptions concerning access to services.

“Very quickly, word goes out to the community that the refugees and asylum seekers are getting better access to these services, but that is because they have no access and have to use the services this way,” he said.

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Integration minister Roderic O'Gorman replied: “I will follow up on the specific issue of the PPS numbers.

"I have always recognised that the scale of the challenge and increase in international protection, IP, numbers is putting pressure on the system. One cannot have that number of people arrive in a country in a crisis situation without pressures.

"There will be times when the system will not work as quickly as it should. I understand that and it causes frustration both for those Ukrainian and international protection applicants who are not receiving services as quickly as they should. It creates frustrations for everybody else as well.”

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