June 17th Declared Hope Air Day in British Columbia

Equitable Access to Health Care celebrated throughout rural, remote and underserved communities across the province.

Hope Air announced today that June 17th is being recognized as Hope Air Day across B.C.

Hope Air Day brings together communities, health care professionals, government, volunteers and Hope Air partners and donors, acknowledging 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 14,000 travel arrangements – including free airline, ground transportation, hotel and meals – for patients travelling to reach medical care far from home. Hope Air assisted patients and their caregivers in over 196 communities across the province.

On Hope Air Day, cities such as Prince George, Oliver, Port Alberni and Masset among many others, will issue proclamations confirming the unique role played by Hope Air in ensuring that B.C. patients receive equitable access to health care, far from home. Hope Air is a critical and essential service that ensures that thousands of patients each year can connect to early diagnosis and treatment on a timely and cost-free basis. Hope Air supports patients for all health conditions including cardiac, cancer, respiratory, mental health, diabetes and a wide ranging of pediatric illness.

The celebration of Hope Air Day will culminate in an event to be hosted in Prince George on June 17th, B.C, featuring a keynote address by Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health and MLA for North Coast. This event will also feature patients and Hope Air volunteer pilots who fly into Prince George for this celebration.

Hope Air Day recognizes the outstanding commitment of the Government of British Columbia, to ensure that every resident can connect to the health care they need, regardless of distance or financial means. Through funding provided to Hope Air on annual basis, patients can travel to medical appointments at no cost.

“The Province of British Columbia represents the highest level of commitment to equitable access to health care for its residents” said Mark Rubinstein, Chief Hope Officer. “Early diagnosis and treatment for health conditions lead to dramatically better health outcomes for patients. That is why fully funded medical travel programs, as provided by Hope Air, are so critical to people’s health and well-being”


  • B.C. Patient demand for Hope Air medical access programs soared in 2023 to 14,132 travel arrangements, an increase of 145% over the prior year.

  • 1 in 5 residents living in Northern or rural communities have had to cancel a medical appointment due to distance to care or cost.

  • 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.

  • Since 2010, Hope Air has worked in partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority to support patient travel to Lower Mainland Hospitals including BC Children’s, BC Women’s, Vancouver General and St. Paul’s Hospitals.

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

  • In the Fall of 2023, Hope Air announced an enhanced medical travel support program for patients with Cancer, in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society and generously funded through the Ministry of Health.

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

  • Hope Air works across 196 communities in B.C. including many rural, small and under-served areas. Patient communities include Terrace, Smithers, Fort Nelson, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, Fort St. John, Creston, Prince Rupert and Campbell River.

  • Equitable access to health care is directly related to life expectancy. Individuals living in Northern and rural B.C. can experience significant challenges in accessing healthcare and 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, Pacific Coastal, Air Canada & Harbour Air. This is supplemented through the Hope Air volunteer pilot program comprised of certified pilots flying small aircraft into remote areas of the province.

  • Quotes:

    As Executive Director of the BC Rural Health Network, I see firsthand the transformative impact of Hope Air’s services. By providing essential travel support, they ensure that rural residents can receive timely medical care, ultimately saving lives and improving health outcomes.”
    -Paul Adams, Executive Director, BC Rural Health Network

    “Hope Air is such a grace, such a relief for anyone in a situation like mine. I had no other choice but to pay for my travel before Hope Air’s support.”
    -Rob V., Hope Air Patient from Houston, BC

    “It was so awesome and easy… the only stress was that I had never used it before, but everything was flawless. We appreciate that we stayed in a safe area of Vancouver, where everything in the city, including the hospital, was accessible.”
    – Amanda, Mother to Hope Air patient Tori from Williams Lake, BC

    To learn more visit hopeair.ca/bc

    For More Information:
    Jodi Lumsden
    Director of Marketing & Communications
    Tel. 647-688-5634

    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.