Air service offers hope

  • Mar. 26, 2008 11:00 a.m.

Help for those who have to travel for medical purposes but have little ability to pay for airplane tickets can be found at Hope Air. The charitable organization has been arranging flights for medical travelers for 20 years and have booked something like 52,000 commercial and private flights in that time says Sandrine Levrier, manager of the flights program. Ms Levrier says the purpose of the organization is to fly Canadians within the country to appointments for medical treatment covered by provincial health care programs. Potential passengers must meet a few criteria, she says. They must be Canadian citizens, demonstrate a financial need and have a scheduled appointment for non-emergency medical treatment covered under a provincial medical plan. She says Hope Air does everything they can to ensure patients are able to get to medical appointments, even if they are the next day. Her staff and volunteers must be able to reach both the referring doctor and the doctor the appointment is with in order to precede. Making a request for a flight is a phone call away, she says. They do have more demand than supply, but priorize requests by the demonstrated need. She says the organization receives donations of air carrier points from individuals as well as seats on several regional airlines. In BC, she says, Pacific Coastal, Hawk Air, and Central Mountain Air all participate. For more information call toll-free 1-877-346-HOPE (4673) or visit their website at www.hopeair.org.