(TORONTO – September 28, 2022) Hope Air – Canada’s only national charity providing flights and accommodations to those in financial need who must travel for medical care far from home – has partnered with Health PEI to provide extra support for Prince Edward Islanders who must travel out of province for vital medical care.
As of September 12, 2022, Prince Edward Islanders who are eligible for the confederation bridge toll pass, and ferry pass through Hope Air’s travel program will also receive a $100 ESSO gas card. The Gas Card program is a temporary program created to alleviate the pressures of fuel inflation.
“We are delighted to partner with the province of Prince Edward Island, to support these enhanced relief programs for low-income residents, travelling out of province for medical care” said Mark Rubinstein, CEO of Hope Air. “The financial pressures on families, children and seniors has never been greater. This Gas Card program will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many.”
“With increased inflation and the high cost of gasoline, these program enhancements will support low-income Islanders who access out-of-province health services by removing the financial burden of traveling to other provinces.” said Ernie Hudson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We are committed to supporting those who cannot access the necessary health services in P.E.I. by ensuring they receive the appropriate care within the Atlantic region.”
Since 1988, Hope Air and the Government of P.E.I. have partnered to provide free commercial flights for eligible P.E.I. residents to travel for medical services outside of the Maritimes.
In 2016, Hope Air and Health PEI expanded its partnership to include a bridge-toll and ferry-pass program which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, averaged between 1,000 to 1,300 travel support passes annually.
“We know it is expensive to travel off Island for health services, especially over the last number of months. I am glad we can support our population in removing some of the financial barriers to care.” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Manager of Patient Flow and System Utilization at Health PEI. “The new Gas Card Program will give these individuals the opportunity to remove the financial burden of vehicle travel, while allowing them to focus on the health care needs for both them and their families.”