Transportation options if you cannot transport yourself
If you are unable to transport yourself to a health-care facility, there are options available to you.
Patient transportation is a vital link within the health-care system. Whether you require transportation to hospital, residential care facility, or a medical appointment, there are transportation resources available to meet your needs.
Getting to where you need to be can involve a mix of public and private service providers. The goal is to match the transportation resource to the client’s care needs in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Is there a cost?
The following describes fees that you, as a patient, may need to pay in the event that you are transported by BC Ambulance service to a hospital, transferred between hospitals, or when you are discharged from hospital. It also provides information on some of the travel assistance programs available to you if you need to travel for medical care outside of your community.
In an emergency
In an emergency, calling 9-1-1 provides you with direct access to all emergency service providers in BC, including ambulance, police and fire. Calling 9-1-1 should only be used when an immediate response is required.
Transportation between hospitals and facilities
As a patient at an acute care hospital within Interior Health, you may be transferred to another hospital within our health region, or even within another health authority, depending on your needs. If this happens there is no charge for patients with BC Medical Service Plan (MSP) coverage. Patients without MSP coverage (ie: out of province residents) will be billed for transfers within BC.
Alternate service providers for inter-facility transports:
Transportation from rural communities
Do you live in a rural community and need to travel to a medical appointment but don’t have a car? Are you uncomfortable driving on winter roads? Are you elderly and don’t have a family member or neighbour that can take you to your appointment?
Health Connections is a partnership between Interior Health, regional districts, municipalities, BC Transit, and local not-for-profit societies that expands transportation routes and increase patient access to non-emergency medical appointments.
Each Interior Health region may offer its own combination of transportation options based on available resources and community needs.
Note: Health Connections transportation is offered to and from locations only within the Interior Health region. For those seeking regular medical treatment outside their area of residence, Hope Air is a national charitable organization that provides flights within Interior Health and BC.
Transportation after discharge
Patients are responsible for their own transportation home following discharge from the hospital.