"PATS"

About: Broome Health Campus Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Kimberley

(as the patient),

 A while ago I attended for a second opinion where I suggested I should be entitled to hospital transport to and from this appointment in the vehicle frequently observed around Broome. I was advised this vehicle was for Aborigine patients and I would have to arrange my own transport.

Some time later, Broome Hospital now has a brand new Toyota Tarago 8 seater vehicle complete with roo bar....Possibly one of the most expensive non 4wd vehicles.

In recent times, notwithstanding frequently observing this vehicle operating, obviously as an unofficial taxi, at shopping centres and elsewhere, I have recently noted the vehicle at Entrance Point, some 6km out of town, near the wharf where I can think of no valid reason why this vehicle should be in this vicinity.

I strongly believe there should be no discrimination with any topic relating to health care.. This vehicle should be available to all who need it.

Responses

Response from Kim Darby, Broome Operations manager, Broome hospital, WACHS

Dear Hospital Transport

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on our patient transport service.

In recent years the development of Broome Hospital has greatly expanded the ranges of services that can be provided from the Broome Health Campus. This has benefited both patients and the health system with care closer to home. To support these expanded range of services, the Hospital developed a local transport service to assist Kimberley residents from outside of Broome who arrived by air or bus and while in Broome needed transport to and from the hospital during their period of treatment. This service has now also expanded to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged Broome residents who have limited capacity to make their own way to and from the Hospital. The service is available to all vulnerable and disadvantaged persons but does have limitations due to the priorities of the Hospital.

As with all government vehicles, the choice of vehicle is limited to that which is on Government contract which provides for the most cost effective vehicle for the purpose needed. Currently that contract is for the Toyota Tarago. The Hospital is also required to ensure that we maximise the efficiency of our vehicle fleet and therefore the patient transport vehicle may also been used for other purposes and such may be seen in a number of locations within and outside of Broome by staff delivering a range of community based services both local and within the region.

Thank you for your feedback and I hope my comments have clarified these issues for you.

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