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

  • Quebec inn destroyed by fire; body found in rubble

    Canada News CTV News
    RIMOUSKI, Que. -- A body has been found in the rubble of an old inn that caught fire Friday afternoon near Rimouski, Que. The fire started at about 2 p.m. in the community of Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski, northeast of Quebec City. Source
  • At least 45K homeless after Aceh quake in Indonesia

    World News CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- At least 45,000 people have been displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province, authorities said Saturday, as the government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities. Source
  • Jeff Melanson calls for more balance in Canada's arts leadership

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    As Canadians, we must ensure we are participating in, celebrating and promoting our diverse arts, culture and spirit of innovation. We are getting slowly better at honouring our diversity throughout the year through the attendance at various festivals and visits to the hundreds of local, provincial and national art galleries, museums, theatres and arts centres. Source
  • Nine suburban Dallas cops fired over false reports

    World News Toronto Sun
    ARLINGTON, Texas — Nine police officers in a Dallas suburb have been fired for reporting traffic stops they never conducted. Arlington police said in a statement Friday that three other officers resigned before the investigation was finished. Source
  • Reno boy shot by school cop had been bullied, beaten

    World News Toronto Sun
    RENO, Nev. — An emotionally distressed 14-year-old armed with a knife had been bullied and beaten and was trying to escape from a crowd of classmates this week who had gathered to capture video of an anticipated fight when a campus police officer shot the boy, his lawyer told The Associated Press on Friday. Source
  • 'Bad eating habits' in China lead to slaughter of rare sea turtle

    World News Toronto Sun
    BEIJING — Authorities in southern China have opened an investigation into the slaughter and sale of a protected leatherback sea turtle by local fishermen, media reported Saturday. The case grew to national prominence after cellphone video circulated showing the 200-kilogram (440-pound) turtle being sliced into pieces and sold to eager villagers in a fishing village in the southern province of Guangdong. Source
  • Pearl Harbor survivor honoured with inflight hula, song

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONOLULU — A group of Hawaii musicians and a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant provided special inflight entertainment to a Pearl Harbor survivor flying home from a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack. Ray Richmond, 97, and his family were the last passengers to board Thursday’s flight from Honolulu to San Diego, said flight attendant Lehua Beltrame-Tevaga, who is also the reigning Mrs. Source
  • PM hails national climate change deal, but without Saskatchewan, Manitoba

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared victory Friday in his campaign to craft a national “framework” agreement on climate change — even though Saskatchewan and Manitoba refused to sign on to the deal and British Columbia claimed a major carve-out. Source
  • White Helmets visit Montreal to discuss harrowing work in Syria

    World News CTV News
    Amid Syria’s brutal civil war, a team of brave volunteers are risking their lives to provide life-saving emergency aid to those living through the chaos. The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, are a group of nearly 3,000 unarmed volunteers who work daily to rescue those injured in the country’s ongoing bombings. Source
  • Giuliani removes himself from State Department consideration

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani formally withdrew from consideration for a post in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration Friday, putting an end to his ill-fated bid to lead the State Department. Trump is now seriously considering Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the post. Source