News

VIDEO: No more funding for medical bus as dollars run out

THE wheels on the Rotary Medical Bus won't be going around as of today.

The free service is an initiative by the combined Rotary clubs of Gladstone and has been fully funded by Santos GLNG since the service was established in 2011.

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

The aim of the program was to provide a free return service to all patients seeking specialised medical treatment in Rockhampton.

>> FAST FACTS: Four seniors share why they need a medical bus

It ran three days a week, leaving from the Gladstone Senior Citizen's Centre and delivering patients to a number of clinics.

Original coordinator and senior Rotarian Len Woodman said the bus had been a blessing for patients.

"Naturally I am disappointed that the service had to stop, but really appreciate the support given by GLNG. We couldn't have done it without them," he said.

"It was used a lot by mums with medical problems because they were able to take their children with them on the bus."

Santos GLNG Gladstone stakeholder manager Gary Scanlan said the company was still in contact with Rotary.

"We continue to provide ongoing advice to Rotary to help them secure a sustainable future for the service," he said.

Mr Woodman stressed patients wouldn't be forgotten about.

"It doesn't mean there's not a chance for (a bus) in the future because obviously there's a need there," he said.

"The health service hasn't improved in Gladstone really since the time the service started.

"At the moment a dedicated group continues to look at other options."

Rotary Club of Calliope president Peter Masters said the club would do whatever it took to see the service continue.

The club has been applying for local grants since January.

"Being a new club we didn't have the money but we did have the time," Mr Masters said.

"We went through and applied for a lot of grants and are still actively seeking grants."

Mr Woodman encouraged businesses who were interested in supporting the service to call him on (07) 4978 4328.

YOUR VIEWS: Got an idea to share about this topic? Let us know by contacting (07) 4970 3030 or laura.mckee@gladstoneobserver.com.au.



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