Posted on Feb 13, 2023
Accessing specialist medical services for residents of Squamish can be a challenge for some. For those who cannot drive to Whistler or the Vancouver area because of a medical condition or following surgery and family or friends are not available and if paid services or not suitable or too costly, it's a worrisome problem. To meet that need in the community Rotary Club of Squamish has awarded a grant of $20,000 to fund the launch on March 1st, and first year of operation, of a new MediCar service for residents in need of transportation to specialist medical services at no cost to them. - photo courtesy of the American Cancer Society
photo courtesy of Sources BC
Medicar will operate as an extension of the Squamish Volunteer Drivers for Cancer Program which operates under the umbrella of the Sea to Sky Hospice Society. Because this Program is only for cancer-related appointments, dispatchers are not able to help those needing rides for other medical appointments.
Squamish Rotary supported the Drivers for Cancer Program in 2015 when the Canadian Cancer Society had to cancel funding for it. Now it is stepping in once again.
Squamish Rotary President Lynda Rocha said the MediCar program made a lot of sense to her and others in the club. Her own parents, who live with her, are 92, and she regularly transports them to medical appointments. She wondered how  patients, like her parents, get to their appointments when they do not have, or cannot afford, the transportation? Everybody in the Squamish Rotary club was very supportive of this project and approved the grant.
Volunteer drivers undergo a thorough screening and training process and they are reimbursed for their gas. There are 14 volunteer drivers so far for the new program and the cancer car program. More are being trained.
More funding and drivers are still required.