Transportation – a simple but necessary part of receiving ongoing healthcare and medication access. For many of us, we don’t think much about how we’ll get to our next doctors appointment; we simply get in our car and go. However, what about those who are simply unable to make it to this first step towards treatment or prevention? What can we do for them?
Transportation barriers lead to missed appointments, delayed care, and ultimately poor health outcomes. This is extremely detrimental to individuals who suffer from chronic diseases and who need regular check-ups.
Based on my observations, many seniors rely on transportation services provided by their city, but comment that they have difficulty getting to appointments if it is outside of city limits. Others say that transportation is not included in their insurance benefits and finding reasonably priced transportation services simply proves difficult when on a fixed income.
Transportation is an access to care issue. If someone does not have access to a vehicle or know someone with a vehicle they’ll probably cancel their next appointment. If the appointment is too far then distance now poses an issue, which means they may cancel their next appointment. After speaking with a few physician offices, I learned that many do not have a referral list of transportation providers for those patients who may have to cancel or who need a ride back home from their appointment.
Therefore, what can we do to fix this issue? Not only are cancellations terrible for the patient but also expensive to a clinic.
People should NOT have to wait for a medical emergency to be able to see a doctor.
So I question, what have you done for a patient, a loved one, or a friend who needed reliable transportation to their doctor’s appointments? What can we do to change this barrier to healthcare services?