In Canada healthcare is free, but only once the patient has reached the doctor or arrived at the hospital. Those who require treatment far from home have to cover the cost of travel out of their own pocket. Hope Air is the unique national charity that works towards equal access to healthcare for all Canadians by arranging free flights to those who need specialized medical care that is not available in their home community.
* With only a small complement of staff, Hope Air arranges thousands of flights thanks to the support of more than 100 volunteers;
* Hope Air partners with commercial airlines for the donation and the discount purchasing of flights; private pilots also volunteer their time and aircraft for Hope Air.
* Hope Air offers flights to people of all ages and with a wide range of health concerns;
* Anyone can request a flight if they are struggling with the cost of travel to an appointment with a specialist far from home;
* If the request is made for a child, Hope Air also always flies the parent or guardian.
* $220 – average cost of a one-way flight for a B.C. client;
* 3 – average number of actual flights resulting from the first phone call or online request by a client;
* 80 per cent – donor funds allocated directly to the provision of flights;
* 10 per cent – donor funds used for outreach to client referral sources like clinics and service clubs;
* 10 per cent – administration and overheads.
In 2015 Hope Air provided 11,212 flights nationwide; 6,272 flights in British Columbia 3,520 for adults; 2,752 for children.)
Locally they provided165 flights for Quesnel residents: 98 for adults; 67 for children. All the
flights were to Vancouver.
In 2016 (up to Dec. 6) Hope Air provided 10,891 flights nationwide; 6,900 flights in British Columbia (4,179 for adults; 2,721 for children); and locally 228 flights for Quesnel residents (136 for adults; 92 for children.) All the flights were to Vancouver.
They anticipate another 600 to 700 flights before the end of December 2016.
Hope Air depends on the generous donations of corporations, businesses, individuals and families to fulfill their mandate. They also depend on the volunteer pilots and their aircraft when public air transport isn’t available. They receive no government funding.
Quesnel has an active Friends of Hope Air organization and they are hosting their first New Year’s Eve Gala this year at The Lodge. Funds raised at this event help support the needs of Quesnel residents travelling to distant medical appointments and services.
Hope Air received a total of $4,000 from Quesnel donors this year, which translates into 15 flights for local residents! They estimate that every flight impacts up to 45 people in the community, so 15 flights touched the lives of more than 600 people in Quesnel! And all this thanks to local donors.