Our Mission: To provide Canadians in financial need with free travel for medical care far from home.
Our Vision: That everyone in Canada has access to the healthcare they need, despite distance or cost of travel.
In Canada, healthcare coverage starts at the door of the doctor’s office, but how you get to the doctor, and any related travel costs, fall to you. Over 20% of Canada’s population live in small and rural communities where specialized medical care is not available, and a trip to see a medical specialist might involve a 16 hour car or bus ride. For low-income patients living in these communities, travelling long distances to their specialist, medical appointments comes at a cost of time and money; neither of which they can afford. This lack of access leads to delays in treatment and poorer health outcomes.
Hope Air is a unique and essential component of Canada’s universal healthcare system. Hope Air is Canada’s only national charity providing free flights and accomodations to low-income Canadians who must travel to medical care that does not exist in their communities. Hope Air exists to bridge the distance between low-income people living in small and rural areas, and the medical care they need.
According to the Canadian Medical Association, “Geography can cause barriers to access. In general rural Canadians have higher health care needs but less access to care. … This lack of access to specialists and other medically necessary services can lead to delays in treatment and harm to health including unnecessary pain and permanent disability. Further, travel for necessary treatment often comes with a significant financial cost.”
Hope Air believes that geography and income should not determine your ability to access medical care in Canada. A free flight lets families focus on what is truly important – their health.
*Latest average domestic economy flight cost published by Statistics Canada.
Hope Air arranged 56 flights in its first year. In 2019, it arranged 11,827 flights.