Hope Air celebrates impact on access to health care for residents in Prince Edward Island

Mackenzie, from PEI, travels with her daughter Scarlett for live saving care for Retinopathy of Prematurity.

Charity Pilots rally on June 3rd in Charlottetown to raise awareness for Hope Air programs that support patients in need who must travel long distance to reach health care.

Hope Air announced today that it’s Give Hope Wings volunteer pilot expedition, will touch down on June 3rd in Charlottetown, PEI. Joined by over 18 aircraft and pilots, Hope Air will gather with community supporters including patients, partners, health care professionals, donors and government officials. This event acknowledges the ongoing and growing need for medical travel supports for patients who must travel far to reach important health care. In 2023, Hope Air supported over 3,813 travel arrangements for residents of PEI– including free Confederation bridge, ferry, airline, ground transportation, hotel and meals – for patients travelling to reach medical care far from home. Hope Air’s Bridge program also includes a gas voucher component to support patients driving long distance to care.

Hope Air helps patients travelling for diagnosis and treatment for all health conditions recognized by the province including cardiac, cancer, respiratory, mental health, diabetes and a wide ranging of paediatric illness.

The celebration of Hope Air’s impact in PEI will include a breakfast event, featuring remarks by the Honourable Mark McLane, Minister of Health and Wellness. This event will also feature Hope patients, volunteers, and other stakeholders.

“Through generous funding provided by the Province of Prince Edward Island, Hope Air ensures that every resident can connect to the health care they need, regardless of distance or financial means” said Mark Rubinstein, Chief Hope Officer. “Through our bridge, accommodation, airline and other programs, we eliminate real barriers to health care access”.

“We know how stressful it can be when you or a loved one is sick and with Hope Air the financial stress is eased and the focus can be on getting well,” said Mark McLane, Minister of Health and Wellness. “Hope Air makes a huge difference in the lives of Islanders with this assistance, and we are so grateful for the partnership we have to make travelling out of province for medical care a bit easier on the patient and their families.” 

Backgrounder

  • In 2023, Hope Air medical access programs had 3,813 travel arrangements for PEI. This includes over 1,200 Confederation Bridge Passes and over 1,000 flights and/or accommodation supports.

  • Hope Air supports patients for all health conditions recognized by the Province, including cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, transplants, respiratory and a wide range of pediatric medical conditions.

  • 25% of Hope Air’s patients are children.

  • Hope Air supports patients in demonstrated financial need who require support to travel long distance for medical diagnosis and treatment.

  • Equitable access to health care is directly related to life expectancy. Individuals who experience significant challenges in accessing health care are more likely to delay seeking treatment, worsening their health outcomes. Delays in accessing treatment are associated with significantly worse survival rates and shorter life expectancies than others in the province.

  • The expenses paid by a patient to travel for medical care, requiring treatment or surgery for cancer, cardiac, organ transplant, orthopedic and other conditions can exceed $2,000 per visit.

  • Hope Air travel programs are provided through commercial airline service such as WestJet, Air Canada & Porter Airlines. This is supplemented through the Hope Air volunteer pilot program comprised of certified pilots flying small aircraft into remote areas of the province.

  • For 2024, Give Hope Wings will be launching three expeditions focused on Western Canada, Prairies, and Eastern Canada. Participants will fly along with their fleet, stopping in large city centre airports; Hope Air patient communities; and hallmark aviation communities. Give Hope Wings aims to raise funds and awareness for Hope Air.


  • For More Information:
    Jodi Lumsden
    Director of Marketing & Communications
    (647)688-5634
    jlumsden@hopeair.ca


    Morgan Martin
    Senior Communications Officer
    Department of Health & Wellness
    902-218-3430
    mxmartin@gov.pe.ca

    We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of many Indigenous peoples. We are grateful for the privilege of being on lands that these peoples have nurtured since time immemorial.