Deputy Joe Flaherty
Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Joe Flaherty says a second bus should be considered as capacity on transport bringing patients from Longford to St James Hospital, Dublin is reduced due to public health guidelines.
He explained, “Traditionally ten patients would have been able to travel on the bus from Longford to St James in Dublin for cancer treatment.
“One of these patients is in his eighties, was recently diagnosed and is due back for chemotherapy at the hospital in September. However, when his wife contacted the transport section this week she was told that he would not be able to avail of the bus service as it has been restricted from the usual ten to just three patients per journey.
“Rightly, passengers per journey has decreased in line with the public health guidelines. Overall capacity should not be reduced as a consequence. Additional buses should be put on to maintain the level of capacity that was in place before Covid-19.
“We must not allow a situation to develop which sees people choosing medical appointments over the cost of public transport, taxis, or relying on lifts from family and friends. I have written to the HSE and Department of Health to stress the need for a second bus,” concluded Deputy Flaherty.