There are several transportation for escort service users travelling between homes and hospitals. It depends on client's health condition, physical disabilities and the transportation convenience.
Hospitals in Hong Kong are located at different positions, but most of them are far from train / underground stations. The major public transport to the hospitals are bus and minibus. Clients in good physical condition or who live near a location with direct route to the hospitals may consider to take the public transport, which is usually cheaper in price. Some lower-floor buses allow passengers to Board the vehicle without getting out from their wheelchairs. However, during peak hours, the wheelchair space may be already occupied by other passengers. Depends on the frequency, clients should always allow more travelling time when taking the bus.
Clients with disabilities or who lives at a location without convenient public transport usually take taxi, where the fee is charged by distance. It is more expensive than the public transport, but it is still a popular transport method for clients who have to frequently go for medical appointments. Public transport is usually crowded, clients with lower immunity, such as patients with tracheostomy or currently in a chemotherapy treatment, it is better to reduce the exposure in the public environment or minimise the travelling time.
For the clients with limited mobility, such as patients who have ever had stroke and are not able to move their limbs, they can hardly getting on or off from the ordinary taxi. There are several barrier-free taxi operators, including Diamond Cab and SynCab, which provide welcab taxi to the passengers sitting in their wheelchairs. But the number of these barrier-free taxi is limited, most passengers have to make a booking in advance by phone or mobile app.
Rehabus / Easy-Access Bus / Wheelchair Users Transport by NGOs and Social Welfare Organisations
Rehabus and Easy-Access Bus are operated by The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, providing scheduled route and dial-a-ride service. The scheduled route is similar to public bus service, there are different drop-off points in a route, which covering some major hospitals, nursing homes and residential areas. To apply for the service, clients have to book in advance. The waiting time and frequency varies among different routes. It is known that the routes via some major hospitals are quite demanding, passengers should allows more time to make a reservation in advance.
Many NGOs also provide transport service like Rehabus and Easy-Access, but most of them accept the service requests from their members only. If clients are looking for these services, it is suggested to contact the associations for details.
Non-Emergency Ambulance Transfer Service (NEATS)
Non-Emergency Ambulance Transfer Service is mainly operated by the Hospital Authority (HA), Auxiliary Medical Service (AMS) and Hong Kong St. John Ambulance, which is a free-of-charge service for the public. This service must be applied by hospitals, clinics or nursing homes with referral from medical professionals or registered social workers. The eligible clients who apply for this service must meet certain criteria. Apart from ordinary patients, this service also covers the patients in complex condition. The vehicles are well-equipped to transfer long-termm bedridden passengers or patients who require continuous supply of oxygen. However, it is also demanding and takes quite a lot of passengers at the same route. Clients may have to wait long hours in hospital before boarding.
With You Welcab
With You Services has been providing escort services for out-patient visits and outdoor activities to different clients and NGOs since 2015. During the service, we often arrange the transport reservation on behalf of our clients - including taxi, rehabus, NEATS, etc. It is obvious that the transport service is demanding. So we bought our own welcab in Mid-2018 and provide free-of-charge transport service to the users who subscribe to our "Escort Services for Outdoor / Out-Patient Visits (Premium)" plan. The vehicle is a barrier-free welcab where the passengers get aboard with their wheelchairs. We aims to provide "one-stop service" to our clients. Using our escort services, you will never be bothered for transport arrangement. Furthermore, the drivers are our existing care workers, just like other colleagues, who are well-trained in healthcare programme - making you feel at ease.
- SynCab "About SynCab"
- Diamond Cab "About Diamond Cab"
- The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation "Rehabus"
- The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation "Easy-Access Bus"
- Auxiliary Medical Services "Non-Emergency Ambulance Transfer Service"
- Prince of Wales Hospital at One-Click "Non-emergency Ambulance Transfer Service"