Compassionate women in the driver’s seat helping vulnerable patients

08/Mar/2023     HealthMission

A team of compassionate women are in the driver’s seat helping some of Mater’s most vulnerable cancer patients to access their healthcare. 

Mater Volunteer Patient Transport Service drivers Kathy, Christine and Yvonne (not pictured) transport patients to Mater Cancer Care Centre Brisbane and Mater Hospital Brisbane’s Oncology service if they are experiencing financial hardship or social isolation, presenting a barrier to accessing other transport. 

Mater Volunteer Centre Coordinator Rebecca Hardwidge-Suddards said the free service was invaluable for patients in need. 

“Transport is often a major barrier to healthcare for patients who don’t live close to public transport and can’t afford a taxi or don’t have friends or family who can drive them,” Rebecca said. 

“Without the Mater Volunteer Patient Transport Service, these patients would struggle to get to their appointments and receive their chemotherapy.”  

Volunteer Patient Transport driver Kathy enjoys providing not only a mode of transport but a friendly ear. 

“I always start the trip with a smile and great each patient personally. I usually start with a few words about the weather and keep the conversation to positive topics. But I’m happy to listen if they want to talk about their family or what’s going on in their life. For the space of the trip, you get to share their world. 

“I’ve come to know a few patients who are ‘regulars’ and it’s great to see the smile on their faces when I arrive and they see that I’m their driver for the day,” Kathy said. 

Kathy and her fellow volunteer Christine enjoyed the opportunity to come together on International Women’s Day (8 March) and take a moment to celebrate their role in supporting some of Mater’s most vulnerable patients. 

While Kathy, Christine and their colleague Yvonne are the all-female volunteer team providing transport for Mater’s oncology patients, they are just three of the 15 volunteers who provide free transport to patients across Mater’s services in South East Queensland. 

The Mater Volunteer Patient Transport Service assists approximately 4,500 patients in need each year. 

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Patient Transport driver, please contact Mater Volunteers on (07) 3163 8599 or for further information. 

Pictured: Mater Volunteer Patient Transport Service drivers Kathy and Christine.


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