Part of dealing with a loved one in hospital, has now become the exorbitant rates that are being charged for the parking at the hospital. Why is it that hospitals are using their parking as a major income source for the Hospital Foundation? Paying at least $10 for a short visit and more than $20 for the day seems normal.
The Canadian Medical association has commented that the parking fees are actually an impediment to good medical care, and I think I agree with them. CBC Marketplace did an interesting piece on this topic as well, which outlines some of the scarier numbers about folks, cars and hospitals.
I watched my Father-in-law spend an entire year visiting my late Mother-in-law in hospital (a few years back now), and the only reason he didn’t end up paying more than $7000 in parking fees was that someone in the Oncology department got him access to cheaper parking (he still paid a bloody fortune). I know my Father-in-law was not going to stop visiting his sick wife in hospital just because of the parking fees, but it is nuts to drain this kind of money from people with sick loved ones.
I realize that parking for hospitals (in Canada at least) can be an issue since many are in downtown areas, where parking space is at a premium, but why does parking have to be a profit center for Hospitals?
From the CBC Marketplace piece here are some examples of Maximum Parking rates at various hospitals:
- 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
All I can say is wow, that is a lot of money to pay out, especially if you need to get to the hospital for treatment.