Door-to-door transport plan floated for Whitsunday patients
WHITSUNDAY residents could soon be driven to their medical appointments in Mackay via a door-to-door service set to help 80 patients every week.
Members of the Mackay Hospital Foundation requested a $20,000 donation from Whitsunday Regional Council to help buy a vehicle that would transport residents to and from Mackay Base Hospital.
Under the proposal, up to 80 residents from Proserpine and Cannonvale could be driven to their appointments in Mackay every week.
The service would provide door-to-door transport for 16 people a day from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.
If the donation is approved by the council, the Mackay Hospital Foundation will contribute $24,716 to the project and maintain the vehicle as well as providing volunteers to help residents.
The foundation hoped to buy a 2020 LDV G10 People Mover that could seat nine people.
"Across the Whitsunday region there are limited transport options available for patients who need to attend important medical appointments at Mackay Base Hospital," the application stated.
"Concerns have been raised by Whitsunday residents regarding the lack of options and the Mackay Hospital Foundation has acknowledged the issue and is committed to reducing transportation barriers and building partnerships with community organisations."
It was also argued that by providing transport, the service would improve patient experience and reduce the number of patients missing out on potentially lifesaving appointments.
"Patients frequently identify transportation barriers as a major reason for missing healthcare appointments," the application stated.
"When a patient is unable to find or afford a ride, costs accrue for patients, caregivers, providers and taxpayers."
In the council agenda, a letter from the Mackay Hospital Foundation stated the Proserpine Community Reference Group approached the foundation in September voicing their concerns about limited access to medical services.
Mackay Hospital and Health Service put together a letter of support for the application.
The council's donation will be discussed at the ordinary meeting in Proserpine tomorrow with a recommendation councillors approve the request.