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

  • Trump jokingly threatens to fire Price if health vote fails

    World News CTV News
    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday jokingly threatened during a speech to thousands of Boy Scouts to fire his health secretary if a crucial vote to repeal "Obamacare" fails. During a speech unlike any most of the crowd had heard at a Scout function before, Trump mixed a traditional message to Scouts of encouragement about loyalty, service to others and never giving up, with mentions of fake news, former President Barack Obama, a replay of how Trump won the election, fake…
  • Cops rescue two atop Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Bridge

    World News Toronto Sun
    PHILADELPHIA — Two people are under arrest after police rescued them from atop Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Bridge. Police say the men climbed one of the bridge’s 382-foot (116 metres) towers to spray paint it with graffiti when they got stuck around 1 a.m. Source
  • Mexican officials: At least 25 people in truck were Mexican

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO -- The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 150-mile trip north to San Antonio. Source
  • Survivor recalls horrific scene inside tractor-trailer in Texas human smuggling case

    World News CBC News
    The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 240-kilometre trip north to San Antonio. It wasn't long before the passengers, sweating profusely in the rising oven-like heat, started crying and pleading for water. Source
  • Woman 'slapped' squad car before Minnesota policeman Mohamed Noor shot Justine Damond

    World News Toronto Sun
    MINNEAPOLIS — A woman approached the back of a Minneapolis police car and “slapped” it shortly before an Australian woman was shot and killed by an officer, according to a search warrant filed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Source
  • Convicted serial killer faces nurses' college professional misconduct hearing

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A convicted serial killing nurse who murdered eight seniors in her care faces a professional college disciplinary hearing today. The College of Nurses of Ontario alleges Elizabeth Wettlaufer committed professional misconduct when she overdosed 14 patients with the intent to harm or kill them. Source
  • Deal reached to save 18 alleged Ontario fighting dogs from death row

    Canada News CBC News
    Eighteen alleged fighting dogs that were facing a potential death sentence in Ontario will be sent to the U.S. for rehabilitation after a months-long negotiation to save their lives. 21 alleged fighting dogs from Chatham could have new owner Source
  • Preparations underway to welcome more B.C. wildfire evacuees home

    Canada News CTV News
    KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- The mayor of Williams Lake, B.C., says the city is ready to welcome thousands of residents home, as soon as fire officials give the okay. About 10,000 residents of the Interior city were forced to leave more than a week ago when flames from several wildfires threatened to cut highway access. Source
  • Israel dismantles metal detectors at Jerusalem holy site

    World News CBC News
    Israel has dismantled metal detectors it installed a week ago at a contested Jerusalem shrine, hoping to defuse a crisis with the Muslim world, including security ally Jordan, the Muslim custodian of the holy site. Source
  • Kushner returns to Capitol Hill for 2nd day of interviews

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner will return to Capitol Hill Tuesday for a second day of private meetings with congressional investigators, this time for a closed-door conversation with lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee. Source