Yvonne Jones. — Telegram file photo
Liberal Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair MHA Yvonne Jones says she's concerned and dismayed after hearing that Labrador-Grenfell Health has cancelled its contract to provide ground transportation service from the airport to the hospital in St. Anthony.
Jones said in a news release, on March 18, patients travelling from Labrador to the hospital in St. Anthony by airplane will have to pay for their own costs to get from the airport to the hospital.
The announcement from Labrador-Grenfell Health means the contract, which has been in place for years, to provide a way for patients to get from the airport to the hospital in St. Anthony will be cancelled.
“Instead of relying on the health authority to provide a way to get to the hospital, sick patients and their families will now have to pay out of their own pockets and make a claim for reimbursement,” said Jones. “Danny’s Air Bus has been carrying, patients, staff and freight to the hospital in St. Anthony under an arrangement with the hospital and regional health authority.”
Labrador-Grenfell Health said Wednesday, "clients will no longer be provided with bus passes for transportation between St. Anthony Airport and Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital."
Jones said there are very few options for patients looking to cover the distance involved in travelling from the airport to the hospital in St. Anthony and people who depend on Danny’s Air Bus will be greatly disadvantaged by the cancellation of the service.
“The most vulnerable in our society, seniors and families on low fixed income will be the most affected as a result of this decision by Labrador-Grenfell Health,” Jones added.
The MHA says she would like to see Labrador-Grenfell Health reverse its decision to ease the burden on patients, many of whom are seniors, who depend on the bus service to get to the hospital in St. Anthony.
The executive of the Combined Councils of Labrador says it was also shocked to learn that Labrador Grenfell Health Authority will not be renewing its contact with Danny’s Airbus that provide road transportation to patients travelling from Coastal Labrador to the hospital in St Anthony.
“This action by Labrador Grenfell Health will have a negative impact on patients traveling for medical attention because many people will not have the resources to access transportation to the hospital,” the combined councils said in a news release.
“Many people are not in the position to rent a vehicle or do not have licenses to drive. With very few options for transportation available in the St Anthony area, this action will cause difficulty for patients traveling for medical attention.”