Hospital bus is not wheelchair friendly

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A bus which transports patients from Portlaoise hospital to Dublin, is not wheelchair accessible, according to a local Fianna Fail TD.

A bus which transports patients from Portlaoise hospital to Dublin, is not wheelchair accessible, according to a local Fianna Fail TD.

Deputy Sean Fleming hit out at the HSE for not providing wheelchair accessible transport from the county to people who need it.

In a letter to the Swan TD, following a parliamentary question on the issue, the HSE said that patients needed to be mobile to step onto the bus. However, patients that use wheelchairs and are able to step onto the bus can arrange to bring the wheelchair with them as a carry-on item.

“This is a horrific treatment for people with disabilities by the HSE in County Laois and it needs to be reversed immediately.

“The HSE must immediately arrange that the bus carrying patients to Dublin is fully wheelchair accessible and this should be done without delay,” the Fianna Fail TD said.

He claimed this was a further attack on disabled people by the Government and follows on from their recent decision to abolish the Motorised Transport Grant and the Mobility Grant.

He questioned what the Government had against disabled people in County Laois, as they also recently slashed the Disabled Persons Grants and Housing Aid for the Elderly in County Laois by 76%.

“What has this Government against the disabled people in County Laois, cutting Mobility Allowances, Motorised Transport Grants, Disabled Persons Housing Adaptation Grants and refusing to provide wheelchair accessible transport for patients who have to travel from Portlaoise Hospital to Dublin?” asked Deputy Fleming.

“Its a sad situation that the Government is going out of its way to pick on the most vulnerable people in society.”

The HSE declined to comment on the patient transfer bus and whether they have plans to change it to a wheelchair accesible bus or not.