Transport

For decades, patient transport has been a constant challenge in British Columbia (BC). Problems with transport have been identified as a significant disincentive for retention of rural physicians. The underlying issue is the effect on access to appropriate care for rural patients and the stress that devolves onto rural 

healthcare teams when they are unable to facilitate timely transport to definitive care. The Transport initiative advocates for improved patient transport in BC to improve health outcomes. 

Our Achievements

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Advocated for better patient transport

The Transport team continued participating in the Provincial Patient Transfer Service Oversight Committee in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Health, BC Emergency Health Services, and Health Authority representatives. We helped analyze and support systemic improvements for patient transfers, particularly those related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We also advocated for the continuation of a provincially distributed model of transport resourcesplanes, helicopters and ambulancesto improve access to timely, safe and appropriate health care for rural, remote and isolated communities.  

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Engaged with rural health providers on transport issues

We continued holding Transport meetings, which enable rural health providers to share examples and raise concerns about specific transport difficulties. These events also provide opportunities for our team and participants to codevelop strategies to address the transport issues raisedand support the individuals who raise them. In addition, these meetings enable our team to share and discuss progress on research projects and provincial and national initiatives related to transport. 

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Participated in rural transport research

Our team participated in research generated by RCCbc’s Rural Site Visits Project regarding nonemergency patient transportation. Our longer-term aim is to align and coordinate identified issues between the emergency and ongoing health care transport needs for rural communities. 

Making a Difference

No one knows the issues around patient transport—which has long been a challenge in British Columbia—more than Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, a general practitioner in Golden, BC, with over 30 years of experience, and RCCbc’s lead for Transport. 

“Transport significantly impacts access to appropriate care for rural patients,” explains Dr. Larsen Soles. “And when rural health teams are unable to facilitate timely transport to definitive care for their patients, it is incredibly stressful and demoralizing. In fact, transport is often a significant disincentive for rural physician retention.” 

Through their advocacy, Dr. Larsen Soles and her team have made great strides to improve transport for rural and remote patients in British Columbia. As they look to the coming year, they vow to continue this fight by implementing their work through the Partnership table, which was delayed this year due to pandemic surges and staffing changes at the Provincial Health Services Authority.  

“We also hope to address strategic planning around solutions for rural transport issues, says Dr. Larsen Soles. “And to liaise with the group planning a national summit on rural patient transport in Fall 2022.”  

Team Members

Dr. Trina Larsen Soles
Dr. Trina Larsen Soles
Dr. Ray Markham
Dr. Ray Markham
Dr. Jeff Beselt
Dr. Jeff Beselt
Dr. John Soles
Dr. John Soles
Dr. Nancy Humber
Dr. Nancy Humber
Dr. Nelly Oelke
Dr. Nelly Oelke
Dr. Jel Coward
Dr. Jel Coward
Paul Kendal

Paul Kendal

Networks Coordinator