Ontario hospitals ordered to freeze parking rates and offer multi-day discounts

TORONTO -- Ontario hospitals that charge more than $10 a day for parking were ordered Monday to immediately freeze rates, and to start offering multi-day discount passes by Oct.

See Full Article

1.

The hospitals will have to offer five-, 10- and 30-day passes that discount parking rates by 50 per cent to ease the financial burden on patients and their visitors, said Health Minister Eric Hoskins. The passes would be transferable between patients and their caregivers and would come with in-and-out privileges for a 24-hour period.

"This is important because we know that patients who are surrounded by loved ones get better faster, and we want to be sure their loved ones are there to help them through their health care challenges," Hoskins said at the new Women's College Hospital.

"When you have a loved one who has been sick and in hospital for a lengthy stay you have many things that you're already worried about. One of those things should not be how you're going to afford hospital parking."

Susan Kuczynski, a member of a group of parents of children with cancer, said the government's move would help provide some relief from the high cost of parking at some hospitals for families that have to make many repeat visits.

"Parking has been amongst the most highly ranked issues that Ontario parents advocating for children with cancer face," said Kuczynski. "It's mind boggling."

The Ontario Hospital Association quickly condemned Hoskins' announcement, and said the Liberal government not only froze hospital budgets for the past four years, it also encouraged them to find new sources of revenue.

"Revenue generated from parking fees is always used for patient care, towards the purchase of capital equipment and projects, infrastructure, clinical research, and day-to-day operations such as facility maintenance," OHA president Anthony Dale said in a statement. "The decision to cut revenues could not come at worse time."

Dale said Ontario hospitals need transitional funding to offset the expected decline in parking revenues.

Hoskins admitted parking generates about $100 million a year for Ontario hospitals, but he didn't offer additional funding.

"Hospitals use that revenue for important purposes, so we've taken that into account," he said. "This will obviously reduce that net profit, but it varies pretty significantly from hospital to hospital, and at the end of the day it is a tiny, tiny portion of any individual hospital's budget."

Hospitals that charge under $10 a day for parking will be "encouraged" to offer multi-day discount passes as well, said Hoskins.

The issue becomes "more complex" when the hospitals don't own their parking lots, which is the case at about 20 of the 147 hospital corporations in the province, including Kingston General, Sick Kids in Toronto and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

"We will be working with those hospitals to make best efforts, so that whether it's a municipal lot or a privately-run lot, that we try to accrue those same benefits to frequent users," said Hoskins.

Each hospital will have to work with patient and family advisory groups on the details of the parking plans, which Hoskins estimates will benefit about 900,000 patients and their visitors each year.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Finnish police: Stabbing investigated as possible terrorism

    World News CTV News
    HELSINKI -- A suspect detained for allegedly stabbing two people to death in a knife attack in the western Finnish city of Turku is being investigated for murder with possible terrorist intent, police said Saturday. Source
  • Hundreds missing in Sierra Leone mudslides likely dead

    World News CTV News
    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - Survivors picking through the debris of Sierra Leone's deadly mudslides are facing the reality that most, if not all, of the estimated 600 people missing are dead. The death toll is already above 450 from the flooding and mudslides in the capital, Freetown, early Monday. Source
  • 7 wounded in Siberia stabbing attack

    World News CBC News
    A knife-wielding man went on a stabbing rampage in a Siberian city on Saturday, wounding seven people before police shot and killed him. A statement from Russia's Investigative Committee said the mid-day attack on a central street in Surgut said the suspect had been identified as a local resident in his early 20s. Source
  • Police separate some 500 neo-Nazis, opponents at Berlin demo

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN - Some 500 far-right extremists are staging a march in Berlin in honour of the 30th anniversary of the death of top Nazi Rudolf Hess. About 500 counter-demonstrators gathered nearby the Saturday parade in the Spandau district, separated by hundreds of heavily armoured police. Source
  • Boston, cradle of U.S. liberty, braces for spirited protests

    World News CTV News
    BOSTON - Conservative activists and leftist counterprotesters are preparing for a showdown on Boston Common that could draw thousands a week after a demonstration in Virginia turned deadly. Police say they'll be out in force to keep the two groups apart. Source
  • Spain, France press manhunt for ringleader in dual attacks

    World News CTV News
    BARCELONA, Spain -- Authorities in Spain and France pressed the search Saturday for the supposed ringleader of an Islamic extremist cell that carried out vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a seaside resort, as the investigation focused on links among the Moroccan members and the house where they plotted the carnage. Source
  • Finland stabbing suspect an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen, attack stabbing investigated as possible terrorism

    World News CBC News
    A suspect detained for allegedly stabbing two people to death in a knife attack in the western Finnish city of Turku is being investigated for murder with possible terrorist intent, police said Saturday. The dead from the apparent indiscriminate attack on Friday are Finnish citizens, while the eight wounded include one Italian national and two Swedes, the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. Source
  • 'We think the attacker was going after women:' Asylum-seeker in Finland under police guard after stabbing

    World News CBC News
    A suspect detained for allegedly stabbing two people to death in a knife attack in the western Finnish city of Turku is being investigated for murder with possible terrorist intent, police said Saturday. The dead from the apparent indiscriminate attack on Friday are Finnish citizens, while the eight wounded include one Italian national and two Swedes, the National Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. Source
  • Nigeria says ailing president to return today after 3 months

    World News CBC News
    Nigeria's government says President Muhammadu Buhari will return to the country today after more than three months in London for medical treatment. A statement Saturday from the office of the presidency says Buhari will address the nation in a broadcast Monday morning. Source
  • 'It was a bad day': Canadian POWs recall disastrous Dieppe raid 75 years later

    Canada News CBC News
    At the age of 21, Paul Delorme was a Canadian soldier like most others — until the day he found himself in a rank never now assigned to Canadian soldiers: prisoner of war. Source