Rhonda Lee McIsaac
When your health and wellness are an issue, the last thing you want to worry about is how to get to and from Haida Gwaii for medical appointments or who will accompany you. The Northern Health Connections bus will take some of the burden and the eligibility rules for this service have been expanded.
Patient travel to and from appointments or facilities continues to be to the main service for the Northern Health Connections Bus. Access to this bus service has expanded its eligibility for others to access this service. Now, seniors over 60 years old, those with mobility and accessibility issues and patient escorts all qualify under the new operational changes.
These changes are to support the health and wellness of patients and their caregivers and to combat loneliness for seniors. It also aims to support family members accompanying patients to and from medical appointments and a further benefit to be able to visit and support a family member receiving health care away from their home community.
Providing comfort while travelling ill or healing is vitally important. To that end, the coach buses are accessible for wheelchairs and other health care aids. Wider aisles and roomy restrooms increase the accessibility for patients.
The benefits have increased but the price remains the same. Another change is that one-way travel is also permitted. The Skidegate Health Centre, the Old Massett Health Centre, hospital staff, and Northern Health Connections booking centre can help with more information. You can book travel by calling 1-888-647-4997, via e-mail at NHConnections@northernhealth.ca or online at nhconnections.ca.