‘Medicabs’ get the green light

Driving force: Care worker Lisa McPherson takes Ivy Wilkinson to her medical appointment. Picture: Marco De LucaA PILOT program that helps Hume residents get to their medical appointments has been given the green light to become permanent.

And Hume Council is considering expanding its transportation service following a successful six-month trial.

Under the program, eligible Home and Community Care clients are provided transport at minimal cost to attend appointments with GPs, specialists and other health professionals within 10 kilometres of their home.

The service covers all suburbs in the municipality.

The council’s city communities director, Margarita Caddick, said 120 people had used the service since it began in December and interest was growing.

“The feedback has been very positive,” she said.

“Since we began the pilot project there has been a steady increase in demand as word spreads.”

Clients are collected by council staff members, who wait while they attend appointments and then escort them home.

Ms Caddick said the project made it clear that many residents require help to travel to appointments.

“With that in mind, the medical transportation service will now be permanently embedded in our suite of home support services,” she said.

“Clients who have other transport options are encouraged to access these before requesting assistance from our service.”

More than 576 hours of service was provided during the pilot run.