The fact that hospitals, with parking facilities, gouge patients and their families who have to attend the hospital, has always looked bad. Taking advantage of the sick and the vulnerable, in their time of need, should always be frowned upon.
Various hospitals have different approaches to parking. The Durham Lakeridge Group of Hospitals have parking lots, but not all charge for the priviledge of parking at their facilities. In Bomanville, there is no charge for parking. At the Oshawa hospital, the parking is sixteen ($16) dollars daily or $4.50 each half hour, up to a maximum of $16 for the day. If you have a loved one or friend staying long-term at the Oshawa hospital, you can pay $110.00 for monthly parking (30 days).
Parking rates at the Hospital for SickKidsin Toronto:
- Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. $5.00 per half hour to a maximum of $30.00.
- Saturday Sunday and Holidays $2.50 per half hour to a maximum of $7.00.
- Monday to Sunday 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. $2.50 per half hour to a maximum of $7.00
Please bring your parking ticket to the clinic or ward to have it stamped for discount.
- Monday to Friday 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. (the next day) $5.00 per half hour to a maximum of $16.00.
- Saturday Sunday and holidays $2.50 per half hour to a maximum of $7.00.
- Monday to Sunday 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. $2.50 per half hour to a maximum of $7.00.
Parent Monthly parking permits are available in the business office beside Shoppers Drug Mart at $155 per month or $100 for two weeks
It’s time hospitals abolished parking fees for the sake of their patients, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
In an editorial, the respected publication states hospital parking amounts to nothing more than user fees and, subsequently, is an impediment to health care.
“Using revenue generated from such surrogate user fees for health care is against the health policy objective of the Canada Health Act and could become the subject of a legal challenge,” writes Dr. Rajendra Kale, CMAJ’s interim editor-in-chief.
The suggestion is bound to be popular with patients, but not so much with hospitals, who depend on parking revenue for additional income.
“We think what they are recommending is absurd and totally unrealistic,” Tom Closson, chief executive officer of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), told the Toronto Star on Monday.
The editorial notes hospital parking fees were abolished in Scotland in 2008.
“It’s simply not fair to expect patients or visitors to have to pay when they come to hospital, when they may be suffering personal anxiety, stress or grief. Put bluntly, a car parking charge is often the last thing people need,” Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing, said in a statement quoted by the editorial.
Kale argues that many Canadians have no option but to drive, given the size of the country and the fact specialists are often located in larger urban centres.
“Some patients (who have often waited several weeks to see a doctor) try to end a consultation abruptly when they realize that they will have to pay for an additional hour for parking,” Kale writes. “This is parking-centred health care, which is not compatible with patient-centred health care.”
“Little needs to be said about the plight of patients undergoing regular dialysis or chemotherapy who need to make an endless number of trips to the hospital. And what about parents who have to drive sick children to hospital?”
The CMAJ says the amount hospitals generate through parking fees is only a small amount of their overall budgets.
“Though hospitals rake in several million dollars from parking fees, the net revenue from parking is likely to be around 1 per cent of the total revenue,” states the editorial, which for example notes The Ottawa Hospital expects to bring in about $10.8 million out of a $1.16 billion revenue stream, excluding revenue from parking.
The OHA’s Closson said 1 per cent of revenue may not sound like a lot, but it represents $230 million a year across Ontario. “It’s quite a significant source of revenue,” he said.