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Coast shuttle ready to launch

A NEW East Coast Health Shuttle service will be officially launched at the Waiapu RSA tomorrow.

The St John service takes over from the Waiapu Health Shuttle run by East Coast identity Hughie Hughes and his team for many years.

The new service is a koha-based community service that transports people to health-related visits and then brings them home again.

The shuttle will be available for purposes such as doctor visits, dental appointments, specialist appointments, hospital day-stays for minor surgery and any other types of health appointments.

Health Shuttles run at different times, depending on what the community needs, and the service is staffed by St John volunteers.

St John New Zealand Health Shuttle administrator (Ruatoria) Helga Posavec-Scott said the new East Coast shuttle was the result of “great energy, passion and strong commitment invested by our team and local community over the last three years”.

“The founding of the service has been supported by the district’s trusts that are dedicated to creating more equitable and positive outcomes for our people.

“As the first St John Health Shuttle on the East Coast, it will enhance individual and community wellbeing by providing safe, personal and reliable access to healthcare services,” Posavec-Scott said.

The formal launch will be held in Tikitiki from 1pm to 2.30pm. Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz, senior St John managers and community leaders such as Reverend Boyce Te Maro and Mr Hughes will attend.