Another boost to medical transport for Islanders

Thursday 14 September 2017

Pictured (L-R): BCH Fleet Manager Jeremy Hall, BCH volunteer drivers Neil Beedoe, Bruce Davies, Red Rogers, Robert Eames, John Stopper, BCH Volunteer Coordinator Mandy Gilcrist, Mayor Pamela Rothfield, Volunteer driver Peter Martin, BCH San Remo Op Shop volunteers Lorraine Ingbritsen, Marj Wagland, Marj Powell, Joan Ray and BCH CEO Jan Child.





Phillip Island residents will now find it easier to receive transport to medical appointments following Bass Coast Health’s (BCH) successful funding submission for a new patient transport vehicle based at Cowes.


The new RAV 4, worth $29,014.53, was purchased with grant funds from the Phillip Island Community Benefit Fund via the Bass Coast Shire who contributed $24,520, with BCH’s San Remo Op Shop contributing $4,494.53.


The new addition to BCH’s Volunteer Transport program will be great news for Island residents who may have been experiencing difficulties finding transport to their medical appointments.


BCH CEO Jan Child said, “We’re really thrilled that we can now offer more medical transport to our Phillip Island residents, either to local appointments or in the metropolitan area”.


“This has significantly helped us towards our goal of growing our medical transport services”.


Speaking at a morning tea held on Friday at BCH’s Cowes site, where the RAV 4 was officially presented, BCH’s Volunteer Transport Coordinator Mandy Gilcrist said, “We’re extremely grateful to the Bass Coast Shire for this funding, and in particular to their Grants Officer Melissa Hayes who helped with the submission. We also extend a huge thanks to our wonderful San Remo Op Shop Auxiliary ladies”.


Also attending the presentation was Bass Coast Mayor Pamela Rothfield who said, “I’m just staggered by the amount of volunteers we have in this area. We are greatly indebted to BHS;s volunteer drivers for the time and dedication they give to help provide this important service”.


Cr. Rothfield continued, “As a resident of Phillip Island who has family here who could use this service, I am very grateful”.


This boost to BCH’s medical transport services comes just two months after BCH received a RAV4 to service the medical transport needs of San Remo residents, from funds raised by its San Remo Op Shop Auxiliary.


Ms Child praised the work of the Auxiliary, saying, “Medical transport for Phillip Islanders was the area the Auxiliary chose to direct their funds towards and we can’t thank them enough. It’s such an area of need and now we can improve things for residents and really make a difference.


BCH is very eager to keep this momentum going and is looking to expand and enhance services even further. “Now we need more volunteer drivers to really get the most out of these new cars!” said Ms Gilcrist.


“Our volunteer drivers are worth their weight in gold and provide an amazing service, but I know they also get something out of being able to give back to the community”, she added.


“It would be wonderful to be able to welcome more of them on board”.


Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer driver is asked to call Mandy Gilcrist on 5671 3372.