Hospital parking fees cut by 50% for regular visitors

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington

The parking lot at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington

Frequent visitors to Ontario hospitals will have to pay only 50 per cent of the maximum daily parking rate, according to a government announcement made on Monday.

“Ontario is reducing a financial burden on patients and their loved ones by requiring hospitals that charge more than $10 per day for parking to offer discounted passes that effectively cut the daily rate by at least 50 per cent,” the statement said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto today to highlight the discounts, which took effect on October 1. Lowering parking costs by offering discounted parking passes will help people in their everyday lives by saving money for those who need to go to a hospital often, such as for a series of treatments, or to visit friends or family members who are in hospital for an extended stay.

Wynne said: “The cost of parking can add up quickly for anyone who must go to a hospital for a series of treatments, or to visit a loved one. Requiring hospitals to cut their maximum daily parking rates in half is one of the ways we are helping people in their everyday lives.”

900,000 patients

Hospitals with a daily maximum rate of more than $10 are now providing 5-, 10- and 30-day passes that are:

  • Discounted by at least 50 per cent off the daily maximum rate
  • Transferrable among patients, caregivers and their vehicles
  • Equipped with in-and-out privileges throughout a 24-hour period
  • Valid for consecutive or non-consecutive days, at the choice of the pass user
  • Good for one year from the date of purchase.

About 900,000 patients and visitors per year across Ontario — including 135,000 seniors — are expected to benefit from reduced parking fees.

  • Across the province, 45 hospitals offer free parking and 63 charge $10 or less per day. It is estimated that 45 hospitals charge more than $10 per day.
  • People who park in hospital lots are already benefitting from the cap on parking fees that the government introduced in January 2016 through the Hospital Parking Directive. The cap — which applies to all hospital parking, regardless of the rate — will be in effect until March 2019.
  • Ontario consulted with patients, patient advocacy groups, hospitals and the Ontario Hospital Association in developing the Hospital Parking Directive.
  • Ontario increased its health care budget from $47.6 billion in 2012–13 to $51.8 billion in 2016–17. This year’s total is up by 2.1 per cent over last year — an above-inflation increase

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, said: “When dealing with a health issue, patients and their families should not have the added burden of worrying about the high cost of parking when they go to the hospital. That is why, effective October 1, hospitals will now offer discounted parking passes to frequent visitors. This is part of our government’s commitment to putting patients first and making our health care system more accessible to all.” – CINEWS

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