Out-of-Province Medical Travel Support Program to include $100 Gas Card
P.E.I.’s Out-of-Province Medical Travel Support Program now includes a gas card for eligible Islanders travelling off-Island to receive specialized health care services.
As of September 12, 2022, Islanders who receive travel support will get an ESSO gas card worth $100 as a temporary additional support to the existing bridge toll/ferry pass program administered by Hope Air.
“With increased inflation and the high cost of gasoline, these program enhancements will support low-income Islanders who access out-of-province health services by removing the financial burden of traveling to other provinces. We are committed to supporting those who cannot access the necessary health services in P.E.I. by ensuring they receive the appropriate care within the Atlantic region.”
- Health and Wellness Minister Ernie Hudson
Since 1988, the Government of P.E.I. has partnered with Hope Air to provide free commercial flights for eligible P.E.I. residents to travel for medical services outside of the Maritimes.
In 2016, Hope Air and Health PEI expanded its partnership to include a bridge-toll and ferry-pass program which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, averaged between 1,000 to 1,300 travel support passes annually.
To be eligible for the gas card, Islanders must:
- Be travelling to a specialist appointment covered under the provincial health plan
- Have an Out-of-Province approval letter which is issued by Health PEI
- Have been approved for the Bridge/Ferry Pass from Hope Air
Hope Air will be reviewing all requests for travel support, taking into consideration the following factors:
- Household expenditures
- Other (i.e. annual health care-related expenses, frequency of out-of-province travel for health services, etc.)
The Gas Card program is a temporary program which was created to alleviate the pressures of fuel inflation.
“We know it is expensive to travel off Island for health services, especially over the last number of months. I am glad we can support our population in removing some of the financial barriers to care,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Manager of Patient Flow and System Utilization at Health PEI. “The new Gas Card Program will give these individuals the opportunity to remove the financial burden of vehicle travel, while allowing them to focus on the health care needs for both them and their families.”
Senior Communications Officer, Health PEI
- Hope Air is a Canadian registered charity operating to provide free flights to low-income Canadians since 1986. The charity's mission is to arrange free air transportation for Canadians who are in financial need and require non-emergency medical care outside of their home communities. Hope Air has provided over 115,000 free flights since its inception
- Hope Air administers the travel supports on behalf of Health PEI as it relates to pre-approved out-of-province medical care for low-income households.