Identifying that one of the biggest barriers to accessing health care in regional areas is finding appropriate transport, RFDS Victoria has partnered with Heathcote Health to launch a new program that connects Heathcote residents with their health appointments using volunteer drivers from the community.
Since mid-August, Heathcote community members have been on the road with the Flying Doctor, enabling access health care appointments within a 50km radius of the town.
The new Community Transport service is open to eligible community members in Heathcote, and surrounds, who are able to book transport to local appointments through a simple 1300 number. Those eligible include Health Care, Pension Concession or Department of Veterans Affairs cardholders.
Running during business hours, the service utilises a regular passenger vehicle, as well as a 12-seater bus supplied by the Heathcote and District Community Bank.
“This 12-seater bus takes eligible residents to and from their appointments during business hours, a great utilisation of this vehicle purchased by the community for the community,” said Michael Prowse, Branch Manager.
This important service wouldn’t be able to run without the invaluable input of volunteers. Recruitment is currently underway for volunteer drivers to transport Heathcote residents to health appointments within a 50km radius of the town.
“We are pleased to partner with Heathcote Health, with the support of the Heathcote and District Community Bank, to bring our logistical expertise to Heathcote,” said RFDS Victoria Chief Executive Scott Chapman.
Volunteers have played an important role in the Royal Flying Doctor Service since the organisation began operating 90 years ago. If you’re interested in finding out more or signing up as a volunteer with the Flying Doctor Community Transport service, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0437 108 560.