Goondiwindi Meditrans Service calls for volunteer drivers for medical transport

Sue Salisbury with the donated vehicle used to transport patients to Toowoomba with the help of local volunteer drivers in Goondiwindi.
Sue Salisbury with the donated vehicle used to transport patients to Toowoomba with the help of local volunteer drivers in Goondiwindi.

Goondiwindi Meditrans Service is calling for medical transport volunteer drivers.

Already, the vital service has seen a huge demand in local people needing the use of transport.

Centre and community care coordinator Sue Salisbury said numbers have jumped since December last year.

Six people requested to use the service in December and five patients were transported. 

In January 22 people requested service, while 10 were transported.

“It’s a growing service, which is fantastic. We’ve already received 16 requests and eight trips for February.”

The Meditrans Service was kindly donated a vehicle and free services for the transportation of patients last year, by the Tait Toyota Group.

But it has been difficult to recruit drivers who meet criteria and have the time to volunteer.

“It’s quite a big day driving patients to Toowoomba for appointments which may be at different times of the day, at different hospitals,” she said.

Drivers must hold a blue card, a first aid certificate and have an authority to drive public passengers. Sue will assist prospective drivers to obtain these qualifications and The Goondiwindi Regional Council will cover all costs.

The service, and Ms Salisbury’s role was created following community feedback in 2016.

Goondiwindi Region Council heard from people within the local community about the lack of health services readily available in town and the difficulty accessing these services...

Through council, a consultant service then completed a report outlining health service needs in the region.

The findings of the report led to Ms Salisbury’s position being created- to help improve access to health services for people in the community.

Employed by council, the position is funded partly by The Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and The Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network Ltd.

“This is a 12-month trial but we are hoping to secure the funding to keep this role going. 

“Meditrans is a big part of the job as well as sourcing funding to get more specialist services here and encouraging more telehealth services to the area.”

If you would like to become a volunteer driver for Meditrans Service, phone Sue on 0436 668 763.