Northern Health looks at ground, not air or water transport

  • Sep. 5, 2005 2:00 p.m.

When it comes to medical transportation, islanders need help with air travel, not ground transportation. But for now, Northern Health is moving forward with a call for proposals to provide ground transportation links between some mainland communities.
When a representative of the Health Connections program visited the islands in July, islanders were clear with the message that reasonable airline rates were a priority for those who travel for medical services from here.
The program hopes to offer travel services for patients who need to go outside of their home community for medical services, but the type of services needed on the islands are not the first priority of the program.
Northern Health communications director Mark Karjaluoto says options for air travel are still to come. “Ground transportation isn’t the be all and end all of the program,” he says.
The program manager Sean Hardiman will look for better travel options for those who have been medivaced to the city for treatment and have to pay for their own way home. Mr. Karjaluoto says they are also looking into deals on accommodation options for those in need.
Providing ground transportation options was a priority for the fall. Some of the routes Northern Health seeks proposals for include: Prince Rupert to/from Prince George, Terrace to/from Kitimat and Vancouver to/from Prince George.