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Medical Assured Loading for patients travelling for medical specialist services

Overview

Under the provincial state of emergency, on July 30, 2020, the Province of British Columbia issued Ministerial Order M256 requiring BC Ferries to implement a Medical Assured Loading (MAL) Program.

MAL is available for those travelling for medical specialist services where their medical practitioner has determined an extended wait at a ferry terminal for a ferry sailing could cause risk to their health. To receive MAL, patients must be travelling with both a completed Ministry of Health Travel Assistance Program (TAP) Request for Travel Assistance form that includes a Medical Services Plan (MSP) confirmation number as well as a letter signed by their medical practitioner. Patients are required to present both the medical practitioner’s MAL letter and the TAP form to BC Ferries upon check-in at ferry terminals.

Note:

  • Fares for individuals travelling under TAP are covered by the provincial Ministry of Health.
  • The Priority Loading Fee (displayed on the receipt provided at the ticket booth) is a tracking mechanism only and is not charged to the patient or to the Travel Assistance Program.

Information for medical practitioners

Medical practitioners can issue a MAL letter for patients who have both been approved for travel on TAP and where an extended wait at the ferry terminal for a ferry sailing could cause risk to their health.

MAL letters must include the following information:

  • Letterhead, including office address and contact information
  • Date of issue
  • Medical practitioner’s signature
  • Patient’s name (for minors, please also include the name of the parent or legal guardian)
  • Statement that the individual requires priority loading as an extended wait at the ferry terminal for a ferry sailing could cause risk to their health.
  • An expiry date. If no expiry date is given, the letter will be valid for one year from the date of issue.
  • The route or departure terminals through which the patient will be travelling.
  • Once complete, medical practitioners will provide the letter directly to the patient.

Information for patients

Patients travelling on Medical Assured Loading are required to:

  • Obtain a signed MAL letter from a medical practitioner.
  • Arrive at the ticket booth at least 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled sailing’s departure time.
Present both the signed Medical Assured Loading letter from a medical practitioner and a completed TAP form to the ticket agent or vessel staff.

Information about MAL travel on 100% bookable routes

Patients travelling on the following routes are required to contact BC Ferries’ Customer Service Centre 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779). The agent will make a booking on an available sailing:

  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove) – Prince Rupert
  • Prince Rupert – Skidegate
  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove) – Bella Coola, including sailings to Bella Bella, Klemtu, Shearwater and Ocean Falls
  • Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Southern Gulf Islands
Medical Assured Loading works in conjunction with the Travel Assistance Program provided by the BC Provincial Government. Medical Assured Loading will only be granted to patients travelling with a completed TAP form (Request for Travel Assistance pink form) that includes an MSP confirmation number. TAP is a corporate partnership between the Ministry of Health and private transportation carriers. View additional information on the TAP program.