On Friday 16 September 2016, Minister for Health Michael Ferguson and Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding joined with Metro Tasmania CEO Stuart Wiggins to launch the first stage of Hospital Link, Tasmania's first subsidised bus service linking two of our state's hospitals - the North West Regional and Mersey - and major hubs on the North West.
The service will provide patient and public pick-up and drop off points at both hospitals, Latrobe, Devonport, Ulverstone and Burnie, as well as the University of Tasmania's Burnie campus on weekdays.
Hospital Link is part of a $24 million Patient Transport commitment under the Health White paper, which committed to establishing a low-cost, subsidised bus service linking the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH), Mersey Community Hospital (MCH) and Launceston General Hospital (LGH).
It will commence between Latrobe and Burnie from Monday,September 19, 2016 and will run seven days a week, including public holidays.
The service will be extended through to Launceston later in the year.
Hospital Link will use the existing bus stops outside each hospital - at the main entrance for the NWRH and on Torquay Road for the MCH.
Metro Tasmania will provide the Latrobe to Burnie service, with a different operator to be engaged for the link through to Launceston.
It is expected the service will attract passengers from outside the health sector with students able to get to university by bus and other passengers connect with employment opportunities along the Coastal strip.
Passengers using the service to either attend hospital as a patient or visit someone, will be entitled to a special Government subsidy - a free return trip.
Any passenger disembarking at a hospital can obtain a token from the driver, which can be validated at reception.
More information and timetables are available at: www.onehealthsystem.tas.gov.au or call Metro on 13 22 01.
Photo: Health Minister Michael Ferguson and Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding with Metro CEO Stuart Wiggins at the launch of Hospital Link