NH Connections enhances medical travel service for Northern BC residents

Northern Health has responded to passenger feedback for the NH Connections medical travel service with several improvements to help Northern patients starting on October 1st. NH Connections has several short and long-distance bus routes to help patients travel to specialized health services that are only available in larger communities

?Over 4,500 passengers have benefited from the NH Connections service in its first year,? said Health Minister George Abbott. ?As the service enters its full second year of service we are making a number of changes based on patient feedback to further improve access to care.?

NH Connections is now accepting reservations for the improved services, which include:

·One new round trip a week from Prince George to Vancouver, boosting total service on the route to three round trips a week. Existing routes from the Northeast and Northwest will connect into the new route, offering Northern residents three round trips to Vancouver;

·One new trip a week from Prince George to both Fort St. John and Prince Rupert, for a total of four round trips per week between Prince George and Northeast/Northwest communities;

·Moving the Hudson Hope to Grande Prairie day service (which also provides service to Fort St. John and Dawson Creek) from Mondays to Tuesdays;

·Moving the Houston to Terrace day service from Fridays to Thursdays; and

·Moving the Burns Lake to Smithers day service from Thursdays to Mondays.

The changes will cost $100,000 a year, which is within the total NH Connections budget. $4 million a year in Government of British Columbia funding supports the NH Connections services.

As NH Connections enters its second full year of operation, Northern Health will conduct a renewed marketing effort to encourage Northern BC residents to choose NH Connections when they need to travel for specialized health services that they can?t receive locally.

NH Connections is open to anyone in Northern BC who needs to travel to an out-of-town medical appointment, regardless of their age or income. More information is available through the NH Connections booking line at 1-888-647-4997 or on-line at www.northernhealth.ca/nhconnections