BC Government Invests $20 Million to Boost Travel Support for Rural Cancer Patients
Vancouver, BC - The Government of British Columbia has announced a significant investment of $20 million to enhance travel and accommodation support for cancer patients residing in the province's rural, remote, and smaller communities. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and Hope Air, with each organization receiving $10 million to expand their respective services.
For many Canadians living outside major urban centers, the financial implications of traveling for cancer treatments or medical appointments can be daunting. Costs associated with air travel, accommodation, meals, and ground transportation, especially for extended durations, can pose substantial challenges. The financial strain and the emotional toll of battling cancer can lead to some patients deferring or even canceling their treatments.Advertising
The CCS will utilize this funding to launch the Cancer Travel and Accommodation Services BC program, introducing enhancements to all three travel support programs. Notably, the program will:
- Increase the Travel Treatment Fund's accessibility and funding for eligible applicants.
- Remove out-of-pocket expenses for patients staying at BC-based lodges.
- Extend the Wheels of Hope volunteer driving program to underserved Vancouver Island and the Kootenay area regions.
- Introduce a new travel grant for leukemia/bone marrow transplant recipients.
On the other hand, Hope Air will allocate its share of the investment to expand its existing Travel and Accommodation services significantly. The enhanced services will include:
- Complimentary round-trip air travel for patients and their escorts.
- Up to 14 consecutive nights of free hotel accommodation where CCS lodging isn't available.
- Complimentary Uber or Taxi airport transportation in select areas.
- Expanded daily meal support for patients staying in partner hotels.
CCS and Hope Air have a long history of assisting individuals who need to travel for medical care. Their combined efforts aim to bridge the gap between home and medical facilities, ensuring patients receive the necessary treatments without the added stress of travel logistics and expenses.Advertising
Dr. Sandra Krueckl, Executive Vice President of Mission, Information, and Support Services at CCS, emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, "No one should have to miss their cancer treatment due to transportation or accommodation challenges. This funding will significantly reduce the burden on BC residents undergoing life-saving cancer treatments."
Mark Rubinstein, CEO at Hope Air, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the transformative impact of the medical travel funding grant on the lives of individuals in rural and remote BC communities.
For more information on the services provided by the Canadian Cancer Society and Hope Air, individuals can visit cancer.ca and hopeair.ca, respectively.