Medico Cork

The Service:

Cork University Hospital Emergency Department manages the Irish Health Service Executives (HSE) National 24 hour Emergency Telemedical Support Unit.

MEDICO Cork guarantees direct access to specialist medical advice from an Emergency Medicine Registrar ±Consultant through various Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with a range of end-users.

End Users

  • Any Person within Irish Territorial Waters (Coast, Islands and Offshore)
  • Irish Coast Guard
  • Irish Defence Forces
  • National Ambulance Service
  • Dublin Fire Brigade
  • Beach Lifeguard Services
  • Mountain Rescue Ireland


  • Irish Coast Guard via radio, Satellite or telephone link-call.
  • National Ambulance Service Strategic Reserve Control Centre.
  • Naval Operations Command, Cork.


A Service Level Agreement (SLA) has existed between the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG), with support from the Irish Naval Services, since July 2001. It provides for the statutory provision of Tele-Medical support to vessels in Irish territorial waters, required for Ireland to comply with its legal responsibility towards workers at sea under European Council Directive 92/29/ECC (updated via amendment 1882/2003).

MEDICO Cork is part of the National Framework for Emergency Management, as included in the Multi-Agency Protocol “Land Based Response To Marine Emergences” (May 2011).

Since April 2011, HSE Standard Operations Procedures exist to facilitate Advanced Paramedic 4ele-Medical Support for both the National Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade. 4ele-Medical Support for the Emergency Services is included in the “National Emergency Medicine Programme” (June 2012).

Clinical Governance:

Full time Emergency Medicine Registrar employed to oversee service with support from Emergency Medicine Consultants. The current coordinator from July 2011 is Dr Jason van der Velde (available through switchboard CUH).

Example of Clinical Activity:

  • 228 calls (year July 2011 to July 2012)
  • 2 calls per day
  • 450 calls projected for 2012 -2013

Activities of Note in last Year:

  • Daily communications testing with Rescue Helicopters.
  • On-site Medical Incident Command support to Rambler 100 incident.
  • Mass casualty and helicopter rescue training.
  • Ongoing physician training and support for long range and high risk rescues.
  • Participation in International Naval and Coast Guard exercises, France.
  • Participation in National Coast Guard Officers Conference.
  • Presentation at International Congress of Emergency Medicine meeting.
  • Research projects surrounding care of casualty in challenging environments.
  • Ongoing audit and evaluation of service and surveys of end users.
  • Medical Chapter in Irish Fisheries Board Personal Survival Manual.
  • Undergraduate medical curriculum Maratime Medicine Module.
  • Specialist lectures to IRCG Voluntary Rescue Teams.
  • Development of National Hyperbaric patient pathways in collaboration with National Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetics and Intensive Care leads.

Content By Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 04/06/2018. Last review Dr ÍOS 31/05/21.