Club puts case for shuttle

EMMA HORSLEY
Last updated 12:00 22/11/2012

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The push to get a health bus running is gathering momentum, with the regional council the latest organisation approached for help by a Highbury advocacy group.

The Highbury Social Club has appealed to Manawatu organisations for a health shuttle because it says residents in the suburb cannot afford to get to medical appointments or are put off by having to catch two buses to reach the hospital.

Club spokeswoman Chrissy Paul told the Horizons passenger transport committee that some people missed cancer treatment because they could not get to hospital on time. She said the social club was backed by Massey University, which had offered to lend students to conduct scoping reports and survey residents for a needs analysis.

But Horizons councillor Greg Cox said he wanted to see some statistics on the number of people who missed appointments and whether that could be put down to difficulties getting to the medical provider.

He said it would be good to quantify how many people were affected.

Ms Paul said she had numbers but they did not show why the person had not shown up.

She said the service would need a bus that was wheelchair friendly, ran to a timetable and went past doctors' surgeries and other medical service providers, such as Medlab and maternity services. "It doesn't just have to be a hospital bus."

She said people with an appointment card should also be able to travel free.

Chairman Vern Chettleburgh said it could be something to consider in the bus service review.

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- Manawatu Standard

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