A local community transport service that operates five days a week to Dubbo, Bourke and Nyngan is currently not being used to its full potential.
At a recent meeting of the Cobar Interagency group, which is made up of various local family and aged care services, Home Care Service of NSW service coordinator Michelle Green said the community transport service is there for Cobar residents but currently it’s very underutilised.
“We believe there are more people out there who could benefit from this service,” Mrs Green said.
“The service is there for anyone to use however preference is given to eligible clients attending medical appointments.”
Mrs Green said in addition to clients visiting doctors, hospitals, specialists, having X-rays or other medical procedures, the service is also there for other medical related appointments with optometrists, dentists, orthodontists, podiatrists, chiropractors, acupuncturists etc.
Cobar Community Transport has one vehicle that operates week days to provide transport for eligible clients to Dubbo, Bourke or Nyngan for medical appointments.
Eligible clients include frail aged people 65 years and over; Aboriginal people 50 years and over; carers; younger people with a disability; and transport disadvantaged people.
She said the service can also be used by Cobar people who want to go to Dubbo for other reasons.
They can access the service under the ‘spare seat capacity’.
“Preference is given to all health related medical appointments,” Mrs Green said.
She said clients need to give at least 24 hours’ notice to the Cobar Home Care office of their wish to use the service in order to allow time to organise the trip and a driver.
“Cobar Community Transport has a small number of dedicated volunteers who provide the health related transport.
“The volunteers very graciously dedicate their time five days per week and provide a safe and reliable transport service to eligible clients who are required to go out of town for medical reasons.
“Without our volunteer drivers, Cobar Community Transport would not exist,” she said.
Mrs Green said the service is constantly looking for more volunteers.
“There might be someone out there who would be interested in giving one day a week, a fortnight or a month of their time.
“New volunteers are needed to ensure this service continues five days per week,” Mrs Green said.