FOUR Gladstone seniors told The Observer the strain not having a medical bus service would have on their lives.

It was recently announced that the free Rotary Medical Bus would not continue the service as of today.

Santos bought the bus and has contributed more than $355,000 to its operation. But the company's involvement in the program ceases today.


I had a heart operation and then a stroke in February 2014. I have been backwards and forwards in rehabilitation between here and Rocky Mater. I use the bus twice or three times a week. (Now) I will have to get my family to drive me because I can't drive. It just puts more strain on my family because they all work fulltime and we have a grandson. The bus is real fun. I've made some good friendships here.


I have prostate problems, emphysema and cataracts in my eyes. I go to the Rocky Base Hospital and I use the bus once or twice a month. I've been going to Rocky for seven years for treatment. I think it's wrong about the bus. I think State Government needs to give us funds because we don't have the facilities here. I'll have to ask my friend to take a day off work and take me now.


I have chronic kidney problems and a throat problem. I have a specialist appointment next Friday at the Rocky Base Hospital. I don't know what to do now because I can't drive. I am 80. We aren't happy about the bus. It's comfortable and the driver goes well on the highway. My wife and carer Amelia doesn't like driving that far so we need this bus.


I use the bus because I'm in a wheelchair and I can't drive myself to Rocky. My wife Lynette is in a wheelchair, too. I had two eight-minute seizures in 2012 and I need to go to the Rocky hospital for specialist appointments. My wife has renal problems and she has an appointment in August. We don't own a car so I just don't know how we'll get to Rocky. The bus has just been marvellous.

Fast facts: 

  • In 2011 the Gladstone Rotary Medical Bus is established.
  • The bus has travelled 187,000km over four years, about 110km per trip.
  • There are 10 seats. The most number of people travelled is 10 and the least is one.
  • The oldest patient to use the service was 85 and the youngest just a few days old.
  • Almost 4000 patients have been transported between Rockhampton-Gladstone.
  • Santos GLNG provided $355,000 to buy the bus and fund its operation over four years.

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