Ontario Making Hospital Parking More Affordable
Ontario is reducing a financial burden of hospital parking 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 maximum rates for frequent visitors by at least 50 per cent.
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.
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.
“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.” — Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Reducing the financial burden on patients and their families is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- 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.