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Northern Health Connections expands their passenger eligibility

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Northern Health’s Connections program is expanding passenger eligibility for their busing services to include more people who may require assistance with health-related travel.

The service allows members of the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District to meet their health needs in a timely manner, with services running through many of our towns. This service transports over 11,000 patients each year in our region.

The services are now expanded to anyone in BC who meet the following criteria:

  • Accessibility needs – People with mobility challenges. All NHC buses are
    wheelchair/mobility accessible and include lifts and accessible washrooms.
  • 60+ – Anyone 60 years older will be eligible to ride the NHC bus. A report from
    the Office of the Seniors Advocate recently pointed out that access to
    transportation is an increasing barrier to the long-term health of seniors.
  • Companion (definition expanded) – to include passengers who have to travel
    to support immediate family members who are receiving health care treatment
    or services outside of their home community.

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    “This expansion provides access to services for some of the most vulnerable people
    in the communities of Northern BC, the elderly and those with mobility issues,” said
    Minister of Health Adrian Dix. “Including an expanded definition of companions helps
    support families when their loved ones are receiving care in other communities.”

    The upgraded services will no longer require seniors or those with accessibility issues to book their trip with a medical appointment, as it was determined the nature of their travels generally relate to their health and well-being.

    Chief Communications and External Relations representative with Northern Health Connections, Steve Raper, explains the importance of offering this service in the region.

    “This program has been available for over ten years now and is crucial to linking British Columbians with the service they need. We have done a ton of research and we are well aware that not every service is available in rural communities. This service bridges that gap and allows residents to be taken care of properly in their time of need.”

    Full details on the services and routes provided by Northern Health Connections can be found here.

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