Ontario freezes hospital parking rates

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Mississauga, January 22 (CINEWS): The Ontario government is freezing the price of parking at all the province’s hospitals and forcing every hospital that charges more than $10 a day to offer discounts for longer-term users. “We believe that parking fees should not be a barrier to health care,” Hoskins said. “This announcement will make a difference for those who regularly visit our hospitals.”
Effective immediately, parking rates at all hospitals in Ontario are frozen for next three years, and after that, price increases can be no more than the rate of inflation. Hoskins said
Starting Oct. 1, all hospitals with a parking rate of more than $10 per day must offer five-day, 10-day and 30-day passes at a 50 per cent discount off the daily rate, with full in-and-out privileges.
Earlier visiting a convalescing friend or family member at a hospital, would cost you about $12 for an hour and a half. If you spent the night or stayed with a patient for a week, it could set you back even more.
According to NDP Health Critic France Gélinas it was about time Premier Kathleen Wynne who promised to cut hospital parking fees fulfilled her promise. “Last year, Ontarians were forced to pay at least $172 million in hospital parking fees, nearly half a million dollars each and every day. Those hospital parking fees make life harder for families and seniors, but for years the Liberals have refused to take action,” she had said.
Because parking costs at hospitals can quickly total up, many visitors and primary caregivers ended up parking on side streets or in mall parking lots if it happens to be situated close to the hospital. The parking lot at Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga was often the place dozens of visitors and even outpatients parked their cars and walked across the street to Credit Valley Hospital. For example a Daily Pass could set you back by $25. And heaven forbid you had to visit for a month, that pass would cost $79.
At William Osler Health System, Brampton, it used to cost $15 for all-day parking and $40 for a Weekly parking pass.
Sometimes it is the challenge of finding a parking spot that can be extremely difficult and stressful. There are many who believe that many hospitals especially in the Peel Region need to provide more parking spots and a break for seniors living on a fixed income and other low income families. After all earning low wages and attempting to make ends meet may have contributed to their health conditions in the first place. Paying dearly to park at a hospital is almost like adding insult to injury.

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