The Ontario government has announced new measures to help make hospital parking fees more affordable for patients and their families. According to an announcement made by Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins on Monday, all hospitals have been ordered to immediately freeze all parking fees for three years and limited any increases beyond that time period to inflation.
Moreover, any hospital charging more than $10-a-day for hospital parking will now be forced to offer passes for 5, 10 and 30 days at 50% off the daily rate. However, these orders don’t apply to the many parking lots that service but are not owned by adjacent hospitals. In his remarks, Hoskins stressed that the Ontario government is serious about lowering parking fees for those who frequently visit hospitals in lieu of the promise made by Premier Kathleen Wynne. Hoskins stated that “we believe that parking fees should not be a barrier to accessing health care.”
However in response to the announcement, The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has criticized the move as OHA President, Anthony Dale, stated that “revenue generated from parking fees is always used for patient care, towards the purchase of capital equipment and projects, infrastructure, clinical research, and day-to-day operations such as facility maintenance.” Dale pointed out that “as hospitals continue to absorb hundreds of millions in operating costs without an inflationary increase, it is increasingly difficult for them to invest in other important health care priorities, such as capital improvements to their buildings, new medical and diagnostic equipment, and information and communications technology. The decision to cut revenues could not come at a worse time.”
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