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MobilityPlus to Take Another Look at Dialysis Rides

News Jul 07, 2017
by Johanna Weidner Waterloo Region Record|

WATERLOO REGION The region will take a closer look at MobilityPlus to ensure the right people are using the service, including the possibility of finding other transportation for dialysis patients.

Currently, upward of one in four riders is a person travelling for dialysis treatment.

“It’s very big,” said Dave Smith, assistant manager of specialized services for the Region of Waterloo.

“We’re taking a lot of rides away from people.”

Continuing to provide dialysis transportation would require additional funds for projected growth, according to a five-year business plan presented recently to regional council.

Other options could be using non-emergency medical transportation or having patients take a regular bus on the way to the treatment when they’re feeling OK and then using MobilityPlus to get home.

Many communities don’t use specialized transit services for dialysis, regional councillors were told by staff. Here, there can be a wait list for MobilityPlus rides.

The report said regional representatives should approach the local health integration network to discuss alternative funding sources.

“It’s really a medical concern,” Smith said.

The eligibility criteria also need to be reconsidered in relation to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, expanding beyond physical disabilities. That could include people with dementia or cognitive issues who aren’t able to use regular public transportation.

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