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lugnut

@communications.com

[Serious] Hospital parking rates a 'tax' on sick Canadians

I 100% agree with this article. When my mom was dying of cancer 5 months of daily parking fees added up to a killing for the hospital and a financial strain on my family. And now that my dad is going in for a biopsy this week I fear the merry go round will start up all over again.

»www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201···?cmp=rss

quote:
Hospital parking rates a 'tax' on sick Canadians

Rising hospital parking rates amount to a tax on ailing Canadians, says one medical specialist.

A CBC Marketplace report found many Canadians are missing hospital appointments and experiencing added stress due to the costs of parking at their local health centre.

"Parking fees are a penalty for having a disease," says cancer specialist Dr. Bob Winston. "It seems like an unfair tax on my patients."

That “tax” affects patients in many negative ways, he says. Some patients tell him they can’t afford to come to appointments and the overall cost, plus the pressure to keep feeding the meter, adds a level of stress that can interfere with their treatments and recovery.

“My patients have a lot of stress from the get-go, and with the addition of more stress with regards to the parking is sort of salt in the wound,” he told Marketplace co-host Erica Johnson.

Vicki McKenna, vice-president of the Ontario Nursing Association, agrees.

“It's bad enough that you're having to seek treatment, and that you have an illness, and sometimes a chronic illness, but then you have to worry about parking? It just doesn't sit right with me, and it shouldn't be the way it is.”

...snip...

Survey finds costs create stress

As part of its investigation, Marketplace surveyed over 1,000 Canadians, and found 52 per cent said parking costs affect how often they can visit a hospital, or for how long.

Among the findings:

38 per cent said they couldn’t visit a patient as frequently as they wanted.
20 per cent felt they couldn’t afford to visit patients at all.
3 per cent skipped medical appointments.
14 per cent said they couldn’t afford to volunteer.

Winston says nothing should interfere with patient visits.

...snip...

Pricey hospital parking

A sampling of Canada's high hospital parking costs (daily maximum rates):

Toronto General Hospital: $28
Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton: $15-$32
Vancouver General Hospital: $19.75
Markham-Stouffville Hospital, Markham, Ont: $17
Saskatoon City Hospital: $15
QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax: $14

...snip...



MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
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While I agree that this can add up quickly, what would the solution be? Divert healthcare money to maintain the parking lots? The money will have to come from somewhere.
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lugnut

@communications.com
The point is that people are not there because they are looking for a day at the mally mall. They are FORCED to be there by medical circumstance.

The hospitals are adding insult to injury by nickel and diming people to death who are only there because they are dying in the first place.

When my mom was dying we could at least get a bit of a discount by buying monthly parking passes, but all the same, it's a mercenary system that preys on the ill and the dying.

They could just as easily make up the difference somewhere else from general revenues. Sell more bloody lotto tickets if they had to. Or cut a few bloated civil service pensions and salaries.

Why is the public always the go to wallet whenever any government service feels like giving itself a raise?

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to lugnut
My condolences on the loss of your mother. It must be very difficult to relive the hospital experience so soon. Best wishes for your father.
There is some discretion for validating parking although that would vary between facilities. I've had this offered in the past. I accepted, not thinking of what the money was for. Now that they make a point of advertising that the profits are used to purchase new equipment, I would not accept. I've spent a fair bit of money in the past 6 months parking at hospitals, it's a pittance for the healthcare I receive. Our local hospitals are still trying to balance the budget. Staff cuts are inevitable.
I do hope that parking validation continues to be available to people on compassionate grounds.


urbanriot
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join:2004-10-18
Canada
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reply to MichelR
said by lugnut :

I 100% agree with this article.

I also agree, for the same reasons. I was visiting a friend at a hospital in Toronto that posted a 'daily maximum' rate of $15, but they had some additional bullshit fees that wound up costing me about $26. Visiting my friend twice on the weekend cost me $52 for parking and this agitated the shit out of me.

said by MichelR:

While I agree that this can add up quickly, what would the solution be? Divert healthcare money to maintain the parking lots? The money will have to come from somewhere.

Well I'm assuming these hospitals in question don't own the lots? Or do they own the lots and this is how they make additional cash?

I'm waiting to see what the new hospital here in Niagara is going to cost. It wasn't even open yet and the parking lot was full... front page story in the newspaper that they should have made more parking spots. Duh.

MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
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2 recommendations

reply to lugnut
Great... More public service bashing. This is getting old.

No matter that the source of revenue, ultimately it's coming from people. Money doesn't grow on trees.

Some of the hospitals obviously need to take a serious look at this as some of those numbers are pretty damn scary, but if your only solution is to go after employees... It's really getting fracking old.
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MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
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reply to urbanriot
said by urbanriot:

Well I'm assuming these hospitals in question don't own the lots? Or do they own the lots and this is how they make additional cash?

The only hospital I've had to park at had a relatively reasonable rate (note that this was a while ago - don't know about now). They had a sign saying the parking fees went to patient care (something like that - like I said, been a while). Pretty sure the owned the lot. The worst thing would be for them not to own it. Around here the feds offloaded the employee lots to the private sector and the parking fees nearly tripled (in my boss' case, it went up 500%).
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J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
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Kitchener, ON
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reply to lugnut

Re: [Serious] Hospital parking rates a 'tax' on sick Canadians

This is part of a problem for funding with hospitals. You're paying for maintenance for the parking lot, which isn't taken from healthcare itself, plus these parking lots create additional revenue for programs, such as outpatient cancer care. However, I do agree that under certain circumstances, they should cut some slack for visitors, especially if it's under an hour. I used to have to take my son to a specialist at London Health Sciences and the parking just insane.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


Last Parade

join:2002-10-07
Port Colborne, ON
reply to lugnut
The new St. Catharines site is already scrambling to add parking spaces, but they can't do anything until the ground thaws.

I remember when the NHS added meters to Fort Erie (contracted to Precise ParkLink) and no one would pay the meter. I know I never did. When I lacerated my hand in late 2009 and had several recurring appointments at the old St. Catharines General and Hotel Dieu Shaver rehab clinic, those same stupid private meters never got a dime. I did end up with a "Parking Invoice" once, which has no real teeth.


WhaleOilBee
What a long strange trip it's been

join:2011-08-02
Manotick, ON
Reviews:
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1 edit
reply to lugnut
I agree it's frustrating to keep shelling out $$$ every time you have to go to the hospital; especially if you're bringing someone to emergency, then have to find toonies to feed a meter, or leave the patient in the ER waiting area alone while you go park the car in the lot.

OTOH, I believe that any profits beyond the maintenance of the lot does go towards patient care. Even if it went to funding a lounge for nursing staff, I'm fine with that. Lord knows, these hard working folks deserve it.

The costs do start mounting up if you want to visit each day, or multiple times a day for a longer term stay. I'll buy a day or week pass in that event, -or- park for free nearby and walk to the hospital. The walk not only saves the parking fees, but perhaps even helps eliminate future hospital visits.

Maybe a compromise would be that the hospitals provide 1 complimentary parking day pass per admitted patient per day. Then at least the immediate family of the patient is not burdened by the extra parking cost.


loosedobbs

join:2006-06-13
Toronto
reply to lugnut
It is very expensive to park cars there. I just took my friends kid to North York hospital...few week back. And I had to pay $12 for hour.

Thanks you pucking Daddy Dalton.


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to MichelR
said by MichelR:

While I agree that this can add up quickly, what would the solution be? Divert healthcare money to maintain the parking lots? The money will have to come from somewhere.

It is just one more instance of those who demand the government PAY FOR everything and who just can't make the leap to the logic that the money doesn't just magically appear. It comes as a tax on those not using the service.


andyb
Premium
join:2003-05-29
SW Ontario
kudos:1
reply to lugnut
You use to able to park a block away here and walk but the hospital cried about so the city put up no parking/1 hour parking only on all streets in the vicinity.They did the same for a medical center here after the owners complained they were not making enough money off parking


A Lurker
that's Ms Lurker btw
Premium
join:2007-10-27
Wellington N
said by andyb:

You use to able to park a block away here and walk but the hospital cried about so the city put up no parking/1 hour parking only on all streets in the vicinity.They did the same for a medical center here after the owners complained they were not making enough money off parking

I think Burlington is about the only one around here that you can find free parking and walk to it. (That parking is down by the lake shore walking trails.) However, for those not well this might be a longer walk than they're capable of. I had to go to St Joe's on Charlton in Hamilton recently. The appointment was at a bad time of day so that even though I could find metered parking (the lots at the hospital were full) it was all on streets that became no parking during rush hour. I ended up parking up on the hill at unmetered parking behind the hospital (and technically illegally as I was slightly more than an hour). However, I can't imagine someone sick hiking up and down that hill (and again, getting in and out in an hour is almost impossible).

The problem with a lot of downtown located hospitals that if parking were free or cheap the lots would be filling with people not visiting the hospital. It would be nice though to rebate that parking if you were a legit visitor.


Mike2009

join:2009-01-13
Ottawa, ON
kudos:3
Hospital parking is a ripoff.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
reply to lugnut
Every legitimate visitor to the hospital (by that I mean going to the Hospital for treatment etc and not just purely visiting, should get a ticket stub (assuming they were driven (thus applies to helper) or drove themselves) that they can use to exit a Hospital parking lot. Staff privileges are something to be negotiated with employees and none of our business. Therefore the hospital needs to factor in the cost of the parking lot in their budget not on the backs of sick people. In othe words as a society funding health care includes the parking lot. For those of us visiting and not seeking treatment the parking lot is there for our convenience and we should pay (but not ridiculous rates). Remember we do have the option of using public transport which should be encouraged even if it means parking at a nearby grocery store or mall and taking the bus from there (be inventive).
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capdjq
Premium
join:2000-11-01
Vancouver
reply to lugnut
I'm surprised that VGH (Vancouver) is $19.75/day. That's relatively low for Vancouver. My Richmond General Hospital (Couple of Km from Vancouver) is $2.00 for every 1/2 hour or part. There's no Guard, or gates, but only a large lot with Parking Meters.

People on fixed income, or visiting the Emergency, get annoyed, quite rightly so. Some cut their consultations short to run out and purchase a ticket.

Its a $120 fine for having an expired parking ticket.
--
"Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing."



Markie
Still Living Free

join:2009-07-11
Canada
reply to lugnut
$2 per hour here, my household is closing in on $50 for the year and my side of the family is in for $100s for end of life care. It is very irritating and we are all fed up but I suppose we should be a bit grateful for not paying usurious amounts like Toronto.

To bash on overpaid bloat a bit, the CEO here makes $360k...I'm sure the job could be done for half the price. Also, 2 RNs every 2 hours to turn a patient when PSWs are less than half the cost isn't wise use of health care dollars. Our Hospital is drop dead stunning inside, an atrium stretches along its wooden spine for hundreds of feet, a mean feat of engineering an architectural masterpiece that likely cost an additional $30 million over a more conventional design.

We used to have 2 hospitals, one on each side of the city and both were nested in large residential areas where ample parking was available but the new facility stands alone in a central location with the closest residential street 500ft away. Drive by that street and there is always a few cars parked along it trying to save money that they may or may not have.

I'm glad the CBC has profiled this issue, not sure it will get any traction but it sure has people here talking.
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Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to lugnut
I find it awfully hard to believe that for people who need, for whatever reason, to visit hospitals that the parking rates are in their top 5 concerns....

Real Estate isn't free. If not paid by the people using the real estate to park their cars, then who?
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TLS2000
Crazy Canuck
Premium
join:2004-02-24
Mississauga, ON
Ian, a lot of people can't afford to pay for parking when they want to visit someone in the hospital. That results in those people not getting visited.
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Tom


urbanriot
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join:2004-10-18
Canada
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reply to Ian
I think its more the amount that's paid that's of concern, rather than the actual need to pay and in some areas the amount seems arbitrary rather than necessary.

It's probably a good idea that this is publicized once in a while so government officials are aware there are areas where the costs aren't the same as the $4 flat rate parking in their town.


Mike2009

join:2009-01-13
Ottawa, ON
kudos:3
I don't mind paying for parking but I shouldn't have to pay $14 when I'm at the hospital for an hour and a half.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to Markie
said by Markie:

To bash on overpaid bloat a bit, the CEO here makes $360k...I'm sure the job could be done for half the price.

Sorry, you don't know much about hospital administration. I have known many hospital CEO's over the years and I have more than a little idea of their job. It's complex, difficult and well worth that kind of money. I don't think the CEO's should be paid the $750,000 they get in Hospital Gulch in Toronto, but they are well worth what most are paid.
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DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to TLS2000
said by TLS2000:

Ian, a lot of people can't afford to pay for parking when they want to visit someone in the hospital. That results in those people not getting visited.

Guess what? Many don't need to be visited. Most hospital stays are short.
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loosedobbs

join:2006-06-13
Toronto
reply to Ian
said by Ian:

I find it awfully hard to believe that for people who need, for whatever reason, to visit hospitals that the parking rates are in their top 5 concerns....

Real Estate isn't free. If not paid by the people using the real estate to park their cars, then who?

It is paid and bought by our money.
So for visitors it should be free at least for at least hour.
We dont pay taxes so you can buy and enjoy on our money(Sunshine list) and again charge us. If I am bringing a patient with broken hand or foot then we should get free parking for some time. We can not use TTC when somebody has broken hand/foot and North York/Scarborough minutes away. And if used the ambulance service then again people complain.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to J E F F
said by J E F F:

This is part of a problem for funding with hospitals. You're paying for maintenance for the parking lot, which isn't taken from healthcare itself, plus these parking lots create additional revenue for programs, such as outpatient cancer care. However, I do agree that under certain circumstances, they should cut some slack for visitors, especially if it's under an hour. I used to have to take my son to a specialist at London Health Sciences and the parking just insane.

LHSC parking IS insane. Our regional hospital is $5 in and out with a 30 minute grace period (which is actually 40 minutes, but don't tell anyone). Family and cancer patients there for daily chemo can buy a $20 unlimited in and out pass that is good for a week (but actually never expires, as I found out).
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to loosedobbs
said by loosedobbs:

It is very expensive to park cars there. I just took my friends kid to North York hospital...few week back. And I had to pay $12 for hour.

Thanks you pucking Daddy Dalton.

Blame Mike Harris, not Dalton. Mike forced hospitals into cost recovery mode and parking was low hanging fruit.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to Markie
said by Markie:

$2 per hour here, my household is closing in on $50 for the year and my side of the family is in for $100s for end of life care.

Can also be claimed by the patient (or parents of a family member) as a tax credit under Medical Expenses. Keep your receipts.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


TLS2000
Crazy Canuck
Premium
join:2004-02-24
Mississauga, ON
reply to DKS
Tell that to my mother who was in the hospital for two weeks. I couldn't afford $20/day for parking to visit her so she saw me twice in that two weeks.
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Tom