Conn. transportation realities make accessing health care challenging for patients

  • Date: 01/13/2023

In a recent visit with John (a pseudonym), it became clear that there were problems that we simply couldn’t fix together. Lugging his oxygen cylinder on a bus and then walking to the office, John was struggling to make our appointments.

While telemedicine offered an occasional reprieve, he found technology confusing and would miss some of our appointments, leading to frequent phone calls and urgent care visits. Eventually, John’s neighbor was able to provide a much-needed ride to and from appointments, leading to John’s observation that “the bus just doesn’t work for me anymore.”

In a recent paper, we examined the barriers that those using public transit face when attending medical appointments. In broadening our analyses to the state of Connecticut, we found that John was not alone. While public transit plays a vital role in ensuring affordable access to many locations throughout Connecticut, for too many, public transit is not a viable option for accessing important resources such as hospitals and hospital clinics.

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