Travellers’ Aid – a Non Profit organisation that has been helping travellers ‘at the point of need’ since 1916 – and the Vic Government’s cross-government Transport Connections Program that aims to help communities work together to improve local transport, are organising free assistance.
A new pilot project to help regional and rural Victorian travellers get to their medical appointments in Melbourne safely and confidently will be launched on 8 March 2011. V-Line has helped in getting this project off the ground.
The Medical Companion Project is a valuable new resource for regional people who would like to be able to travel to Melbourne for appointments independently using public transport, but feel anxious or nervous about using transport services alone.
It is estimated that 50,000 people from rural and regional Victoria travel into Melbourne each year to seek medical treatment that is not available in the area that they live.
Many of these travellers are frail, aged, or people living with a disability who otherwise rely on family members, friends, or community transport services to drive or accompany them to Melbourne.
When this assistance is not available, many people risk their health, delay their appointments, or don’t come at all.
To assist these regional Victorians in need, a dedicated team of trained volunteers has been recruited to meet with people travelling to Melbourne for medical appointments.
Medical companions will meet travellers at Southern Cross Station or Flinders Street Station, and then accompany them to and from their appointment in central Melbourne.
*Metropolitan travellers can also take advantage of this service.
The service will run from March to December 2011 and is free.
People wishing to use the service can call 1300 700 399.
Bookings are essential and 24 hours notice is required.
In addition, people interested in volunteering with the Medical Companion Project can call Fran Henry, MCP Coordinator, (03) 9654 2600 or email@example.com to discuss.
An excellent idea and service