Brisbane medical shuttle begins

A NEW medical shuttle service has been made available for eligible Clarence Valley residents needing medical treatment in a range of Brisbane hospitals.

Called the North Coast Shuttle, it will deliver patients between Ballina and Brisbane and will connect with Clarence residents through Clarence Community Transport (CCT).

Service spokeswoman Amanda Lucantonio said eligible Valley residents could organise private vehicle transport through CCT, which would deliver patients to the Ballina-based shuttle.

"Until fully supported, this service is limited to appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 1pm," Ms Lucantonio said.

"We encourage support from medical practices and individuals to make appointments within this time frame.

"To be eligible for the service, passengers need to meet criteria according to Home and Community Care (HACC) guidelines, being frail-aged or someone with a permanent disability.

"However, other people could use this service if seats are available."

Ms Lucantonio said accompanying carers could travel free and there would be an on-board assistant to support the basic needs of passengers. The fee is $50, which includes the cost of the CCT connection.

"This is a pilot project funded by Transport for NSW which has been in the making for many years," she said.

"We are keen to gather support to sustain the service beyond the initial 12 months."

Potential passengers are advised to contact CCT on 6645 3200 for assessment.

The service will cover people with medical appointments to Princess Alexandra, Mater and Royal Brisbane hospitals.

Other nearby specialist destinations will be considered.

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