Hope Air Unveils Key Insights from Annual Patient Survey

Hope Air

Survey reveals that 87% of patients felt they had no other options without Hope Air

Toronto, ON – Hope Air, Canada’s only national charity providing free flights and accommodations to Canadians in need of medical care, is pleased to share the findings from its 2024 Annual Patient Survey. The survey, which saw participation from 1,157 patients and caregivers, underscores the vital role Hope Air plays in ensuring access to healthcare for Canadians, especially those from vulnerable populations.

“The insights gained from this survey are invaluable in helping us better serve our patients,” said Mark Rubinstein, CEO of Hope Air. “Understanding the specific challenges and needs of our patients allows us to refine our services and ensure that we continue to provide the vital support necessary for Canadians to access healthcare. Our mission is to eliminate the financial and logistical barriers to healthcare access, and this feedback confirms the profound impact our services have on reducing stress, improving health outcomes, and supporting the well-being of our patients.”

Responses from our patients highlight the increasing demand for Hope Air’s services among low-income Canadians needing medical care far from home. With an average household income of just $34,000, 65% of our patients report they would have gone into debt to cover travel costs, and 87% state they had no other travel options without Hope Air. These figures underscore the critical role Hope Air plays in alleviating the financial and logistical burdens of medical travel, allowing patients to concentrate on what truly matters—their health. Our commitment to meeting this vital need across Canada remains unwavering.

Survey Highlights:
1. Demographic Insights:
  • Respondents: 71% of respondents are patients, while 29% are caregivers.
  • Indigenous and Non-Cisgender Representation: 15% of patients identified as Indigenous, and 6% identified as non-cisgender.
  • Income and Family Statistics: 73% of respondents have a household income under $52,000, and 41% have between 1-6 children.

  • 2. Impact on Employment and Health Outcomes:
  • Work Attendance: 45% of respondents indicated they would have missed 4-11+ days of work without Hope Air’s support.
  • Stress Reduction and Health Outcomes: 93% of respondents reported that Hope Air helped reduce stress during treatment, and 78% experienced better health outcomes as a result.

  • 3. Financial and Logistical Challenges:
  • Alternative Travel Options: Without Hope Air, 87% felt they had no other travel options.
  • Travel Distance to Care: 48% would have to travel 9-13+ hours each way for care. 18% would have to cancel/postpone their appointments.
  • Financial Strain: 65% would have gone into debt to manage travel costs, and 41% would have to borrow money from friends or family while 33% would have to borrow from a lender.

  • 4. Service Satisfaction:
  • Overall Experience: 87% rated their experience with Hope Air as excellent.

  • “Hope Air saved my life. I have serious health issues and filled with depression and anxiety. They treated me as they would want to be treated. My needs and wants were met. I am thankful for all their love and support. Thanks to Hope Air, my life has truly changed with having the ability to seek medical care. I believe people heal when they are heard. Hope Air help to decrease my anxiety and physical pain.” ~Shirley, Hope Air Patient, ON (travelled in 2024)

    “My husband would literally not have survived if it were not for Hope Air. We are forever grateful that this is something that was available to us. We both get extremely emotional when we think about the fact that he would not be here today if it were not for Hope Air.” ~ Carolyn, Hope Air Patient, BC (travelled in 2023)

    About Hope Air:
    Hope Air is Canada’s only national charity providing free travel, accommodations, meals and ground transportation for Canadians in financial need who must access medical care far from home. Since its inception in 1986, Hope Air has provided more than 165,000 travel arrangements for patients regardless of age or medical need.

    For people living on a low income in small and rural communities, distance and cost are very real barriers to them accessing vital medical care. Hope Air is a unique and essential part of our Canadian healthcare system. Without the access Hope Air provides, our national system of universal healthcare coverage would fall short of its promise.

    Hope Air is accredited by Imagine Canada’s Standards. This accreditation validates our commitment to good governance and transparency.

    For more information, visit hopeair.ca.

    Media Inquiries:
    Jodi Lumsden
    Director of Marketing & Communications
    (647)688-5634
    jlumsden@hopeair.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.