THE COMMENCEMENT of the Whitsunday Patient Transfer medical bus service is moving along with a driver safety presentation and first aid course for the volunteers, held at the Proserpine Community Centre, on Thursday, May 11.
Mackay Hospital Foundation general manager Kristi Algate said the volunteer training was one of the last hurdles to overcome before the medical bus could start servicing the Whitsunday region.
“The bus will be based at Whitsunday, in Cannonvale, and we hope to kick off with three services per week, in late June, and then increasing the schedule over the following months,” she said.
“We had six volunteers attend the driver safety presentation and the first aid course and they are all chomping at the bit to offer their skills and time to help the community.”
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall has been a strong advocate for the medical bus, saying it will be a valuable service for patients needing to travel long distances for medical care.
“Council contributed $20,000 to the Mackay Hospital Foundation several years ago towards providing a community medical bus service to transport patients from Proserpine and Airlie Beach to Mackay Hospital and the Icon Cancer Centre for medical appointments,” Mayor Hall said.
“The Mackay Hospital Foundation also contributed financially to the project and will also maintain the bus and help coordinate the volunteers.
“The medical bus service will provide transport for eight people each day it operates, with pick-ups from Whitsunday Community Health, Proserpine Hospital and Bloomsbury.
“This project represents a collaborative effort to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to receiving the medical care they require.
“No one should have to choose between their health and their ability to access medical care.”
Whitsunday Community Medical Bus Service will bridge the gap in healthcare accessibility, providing a lifeline for those who may face challenges in reaching medical facilities.
“By investing in a medical bus service, we are investing in the health and vitality of our community,” Mayor Hall said.
“I would like to thank both Kristi and the Mackay Hospital Foundation, for their efforts to work through the red tape of running a community medical bus, and also Member for Whitsunday, Amanda Camm, who has been a strong advocate for the service.”