Parking for the Rich

In all of our efforts, looking at parking rates at hospitals in Ontario, it has become evident that parking rates at hospitals are geared to those that can afford them. It is also evident that if you know the ins and outs of hospital visits, you can to some extent, make the procedure less of a burden. It is our opinion that the vast  majority of people using the hospitals may not know of some of these procedures.

 

Day passes, weekly passes and monthly passes are often available. Using the example of the Markham/Stouffville Hospital, these rates apply. The usual rate is $3.75 for half an hour. This translates into $7.50 per hour. The daily pass is $19.00. The weekly pass is $45.00 and the monthly pass is $90.00. If you know that a person you are going to visit is to be hospitalized for a length of time it is possible to reduce the cost of visiting. However, if you find out after several days that this is the case, the weekly and monthly passes will not include those days you have already paid for.

 

In our research, we have found  that over 52, 000 clients accessed the York Region Food Banks in 2010.(The latest year’s figures. See http://yrfn.ca) This is a lot of people who need assistance with the essentials of living. It also translates into a lot of people who, if they need access to a hospital, will find the cost of parking an added burden. Now, we have recently found out that Markham-Stouffville Hospital has a policy for assisting those in need. Upon completion of a form filled out with a social worker, they could be entitled to a 30% discount on parking for the weekly and monthly passes. While it is a step in the right direction, could it not also be made less difficult for someone to access? What about all of those people who are coming in for tests that only take a few hours?

 

At a time when there are constraints on all of us because of the economy and the downloading of costs onto the consumer, parking at hospitals is one more area of worry, especially for those least able to afford it.

 

As one person commented on this website, perhaps it is time to respond to hospitals who ask for donations by saying I already gave at the parking lot.

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2 Comments on “Parking for the Rich”

  1. Mo says:

    Have you ever looked into the idea of what gives the hospitals the right to charge for parking. Even though hospitals are governed by the Province to a certain extent, the parking required would be determined by the local municipality. Is charging for parking allowed in the zoning bylaws? or Official Plans? Does the requirement to pay for parking impact the parking supply? I know that Toronto needs to have bylaws in place to charge for on the street parking.

    I asked these questions in regards to private medical buildings, and I never got a straight answer.

  2. Brigid McClinton says:

    Thank God for Mr Powell finaly someone is trying to do something about this rip off,for that is what it really is,I have just came off Canada Disability Pension and am now on OAS CPP I have had to go to hospital over past 18yrs for tests and follow ups.At Centenary Hospital in Scar, they did,nt charge if you had handicap permit then they had meters at a reduced rate $2per hour and if your time expired you never got a ticket.I went to Southlake last year for test parked in disabled spot my appontment ran late I was therejustover 3 hours ,I almost had a heart attack when they wanted $14,I did,nt have the money and went in to the parking window inside hospital and told them I could,nt pay and it was my first time at Southlake after alot of humbling of my self,they excepted my last $6,I asked if there was someone I could speak to as I may be returning for more tests,I waited to speak to a lady who told me sorry there is nothing they could do for me,maybe if I had to come on a daily basis the Dr Iwas attending could help by getting me a permit :or something; or there was a parking lot across from the hospital I may be able to use as it was free! so much for my disability permit.Something HAS TO BE DONE! What do people do who honestly can,t afford to go to a hospital they have been referred to to get the procedure they need,and it can only be done at a hospital?


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