LOCAL hospitals are vying for $200,000 to expand a door-to-door transport service that’ll get more elderly patients to medical appointments.
It’s part of a wider campaign in the region to boost public transport, with a health partnership looking to offer patients affordable transport to non-emergency appointments.
The partnership between South Gippsland Hospital, Bass Coast Health and Gippsland Southern Health Service could see the elderly picked up in a Toyota RAV4 and driven by a volunteer to their appointment.
At an Open Access Board Meeting on Friday, Bass Coast Health board chair Don Paproth that as the Wonthaggi Hospital has its eyes on a sub-regional title, it’s looking to improve transport for patients across Bass Coast and South Gippsland.
There’s no arguing that public transport needs are lacking in the region.
A State Government survey, conducted earlier this year, confirmed this.
It surveyed around 2000 people across the region, with almost 70 per cent agreeing public transport needs were not being met.
And the number one reason people didn’t use public transport was the timetabling.
Bass Coast Shire Council’s Economic Development and Tourism manager, Peter Francis, also highlighted issues with the transport network at the open meeting, at the Phillip Island Health Hub.
He applauded the State Government’s decision to set aside $1.8 million every year over the next three years to improve public transport.
“Often they’re big strategies for big things. This one’s actually got funding for small wins too that’ll make a difference,” he said on Friday.
“One of the proposed projects is on Phillip Island. If you go to the footy in Melbourne on a Friday night and get the last bus back, you’ll get left at Anderson.
“It seems obvious, and it seems ridiculous to leave people there, but that’s been the situation.”
After a trial run, if there’s demand for a service – it’ll hopefully encourage bus authorities to introduce extra services.
There were also some cheers when he said several people have suggested a bus stop at the Wonthaggi Hospital.
It’s a day out just getting from Wonthaggi to Melbourne due to the timetabling, he added.
On Monday, August 20, the health partnership submitted their application for funding to expand door-to-door transport for appointments, including between local health services.
Health transport needs on the table