Local TD Denis Naughten has secured a commitment from the National Transport Authority that it will reinstate the 6.30 a.m. bus service from Galway to Ballinasloe to assist over 30 medical and nursing students travelling to Portiuncula Hospital.
“We are all aware of the vital work that our student nurses and midwives are doing to help maintain our vital health services during this pandemic, and I was glad to be able to support them in Dáil Éireann recently,” stated Denis Naughten. “However, because of a decision by Bus Éireann to cease the 6.30 a.m. service from 1st February, over 30 students currently studying in Galway would be put under significant additional financial pressure in trying to get to Portiuncula Hospital in time for work.
“This particular service is very convenient for the student nurses and midwives who work in the hospital throughout the year and as most of them are young, they rely on this bus service to and from their placement in our hospital. Up until this week they have always used the 6.30 a.m. Bus Éireann service from Galway to Ballinasloe each morning and this ensures they are there on time for the vital patient handover at 7.45 a.m.
“The accurate handover of clinical information in the morning is of the utmost importance to continuity and safety of care for patients and for the students’ education. Had this service not been reinstated it would directly affect the quality of the handover the students receive, delay patient care and directly affect their learning.
“Had this service not been reinstated students could have faced a bill of €50 a day for transport to Portiuncula Hospital, which would add to the already difficult financial situation that they find themselves in at this time.
“I’m now glad to be able to confirm that this service will re-commence from next Monday, 8th February, after I sought and secured a subsidy from the National Transport Authority for Bus Éireann,” concluded Denis Naughten.
Reply from the NTA:
Sent: 05 February 2021 16:00
To: Denis Naughten <Denis.Naughten@oireachtas.ie>
Subject: RE: Portiuncula Hospital Bus Service – Urgent
Route 20/X20 operating between Dublin and Galway is a commercial service provided by Bus Éireann and is licensed by the NTA.
A reduced number of bus services on Route 20/X20 are currently being provided under a temporary emergency direct award contract between the NTA and Bus Éireann.
Following consultation with Bus Éireann, the NTA are pleased to confirm the reinstatement of the 06:30 Route 20 service which will operate from Galway to Ballinasloe via Portiuncula University Hospital.
This Monday – Friday service will re-commence from next Monday, 8 February 2021.
NTA Oireachtas Liaison