Hospital costs: The price patients pay for parking (CBC Marketplace)

(♪♪)>>Printing ticket.>>We are investigating the high cost of hospital parking.>>Wow. 24 bucks.>>And that’s not even the highest in Canada. Some call it a tax on the sick. That’s why many families are driving for change. Heather Stewart is taking her daughter Kathryn to yet another medical appointment. They pull up to credit valley hospital in Mississauga, Ontario.>>I’ll be back in a couple of minutes guys, okay.>>Okay.>>Asha: But Heather’s not parking at the hospital.>>Make sure you stay with Kathryn.>>Asha: She drops off Kathryn and her brother Jeffrey. Then drives all the way to the mall. Patients and loved ones take a long and treacherous walk.>>They all park there. You can see the paths across the field of everybody walking to the hospital. Want some help with that? (yelling)>>You okay?>>Yeah, I’m okay.>>Asha: All because they can’t afford to pay $16 for hospital parking.>>We didn’t do it at the beginning but now it’s just the cost. Kathryn has just entered isolation.>>Asha: In 2008, Kathryn was diagnosed with a rare aggressive type of cancer. In one year alone, they spend a total of 147 days at the hospital. Over time it’s added up, to thousands of dollars spent on parking. A chunk of that change is spent here at Toronto’s sick kids hospital. Parking $6 every half hour. Stay longer than an hour and a half you have reached the daily max of 20 bucks. Like many hospitals, sick kids says it uses the money for patient care. But when the hospital scraps the discount rate for parents… An online petition is started. A thousand people sign. Including Heather. When we first did this story, Erica Johnson met with then executive vice president of corporate services Jim garner.>>You really have to find a balance between the family centre care and the fiscal responsibilities of the hospital. We can’t take on the full financial responsibilities that families experience.>>But should families take on the cost of the hospital?>>It’s inevitable and unfortunate situation that these kinds of experiences create emotional and social and financial hardships on families.>>So has anything changed? 2 and a 1/2 years later, Kathryn a survivor and a crusader.>>My battle with cancer began in June 2008 –>>Asha: Last summer she helped kick off this child cancer fundraiser.>>You had an amazing speech. I’ll think about you the whole ride.>>Thank you.>>They’re raising a lot of money so it’s amazing. (door bell) (dog barking)>>Asha: I catch up with Heather at their home in Georgetown.>>Hi Heather, how are you?>>Nice to meet you.>>Nice to meet you.>>Asha: Unfortunately right after that bike rally some bad news.>>We found out the following day at the scan that there was spots had come back of the cancer.>>Asha: Kathryn spends two weeks at sick kids. Followed by two trips a week back to credit valley for three months. How much is that in parking?>>Probably we’re pushing near 7, 8, $900.>>That’s a huge total.>>It’s a huge total. It’s a huge total on a family that the finances are already tapped.>>Asha: But finally, some good news from the provincial health minister.>>Effective today hospital parking rates will be frozen at today’s rates for the next three years.>>Asha: And for frequent visitors like Heather, starting this October, a 50% discount.>>How does it feel to know your family and other families who have talked about the struggles and the high fees of parking lots at hospitals now these families are being listened to by the government?>>I think it’s fantastic and it’s about time.>>Asha: And what about other provinceses? They tell us no plans to follow Ontario’s lead. And get this, since our story first aired some hospitals in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have actually raised their rates.>>Is this something you think should happen across Canada?>>I certainly think that for families like ours, there has to be more consideration for the costs that they are bearing. Of course we’d like to see more movement.>>What more would you like to see?>>Oh, I would love to see that it’s free. That it’s free for at least for families like ours who are continuous users of it.>>Asha: What’s the future look like for you for you and your family?>>We think it looks wonderful. We think it looks fantastic. She just had scans in February and they are clear and we are very, very grateful for that.>>Asha: Kathryn’s grateful too.>>I didn’t get to go to a lot of school before and a lot of kids at my school don’t like school. I love it. I want to be there all the time and enjoy the things that aren’t so normal to me.>>Asha: And here’s to hoping they won’t need that parking discount after all. Don’t miss a Marketplace update. Get our newsletter at CBC.CA/marketplace. (♪♪)

22 thoughts on “Hospital costs: The price patients pay for parking (CBC Marketplace)

  1. You all up north just complain about the cost of parking at hospitals? Boy, you all need to come south, we'll show you what expensive looks like.

  2. For a while I had to got to Toronto General Hospital (next door to Sick Kids Hospital) for treatments and pre and post op appointments. Most of the time I took the Go Train from Barrie, Ontario. One time I parked north of Toronto and took the subway to the hospital. Why did the CBC reporter ask her about making other choices for transportation? I had shortness of breath at the time. Sometimes, I walked from Union Station to the hospital. It was not easy all the time.

  3. If you are not Syrian, you have to pay. CBC don't like to say that because CBC are professional @ss kissers.

  4. The price of Hospital Parking is completely outrageous !
    I go to hospitals located in rural area whenever possible
    where parking is much cheaper.

  5. Cities should expropriate the parking lots of hospitals and run them themselves. It's sad when the city charges significantly less for parking than the hospital.

  6. here in where I live (the Netherlands) it luckily is handled better…
    the hourly fee is lower, the daily maximum is lower and very frequent visitors (like my grandma was) get free parking.

  7. So the hospital's generous reponse is to freeze its high parking rates for the next 3 years and then (most likely) continue raising them? That's disgusting. As if the healthcare industry wasn't already such a scam they have to pour salt in the wound by charging $20 a day for parking.

  8. From age 13-18 I've been hospitalized around 8 times with a minimum of one week. I clearly remember asking my mom to come visit me and she saying she couldn't afford to park at the hospital. The sound of my mom clearly upset and asking if I will be ok for that day still sticks with me, the guilt of money she spent over the years still bothers me.
    Those were the time when I was IN-PATIENT, she would still need to pay when I was receiving out-patient care.

  9. This is an issue in the US too. Boston hospitals like Mass general, Boston Childrens hospital and so on charge upwards of 26 dollars for just 3 hours of parking. And when I complained and asked if any of that money goes to the hospital I was told no. It goes to a private company who runs the parking garage. I was beyond pissed.

  10. Making people pay money because they have no other choice is the definition of extortion. Governments forcefully take money from peoples paychecks, impose multi-named taxes on everything and extort people for parking at Hospitals, Human resource centers and more. Parking at hospitals should be for free for parents and families of those admitted.

  11. what's the deal with all these versions of the same thing?
    there's a full feature about hospital parking, a summery of hospital parking, the news talking about hospital parking, another summery about hospital parking that's slightly longer than the first summary… cmon now.

  12. Yeah I don't understand if we are giving them our insurance money why we have to pay for parking. In PUERTO Rico is the same they have to pay

  13. Does every location in Canada do that??? It happens in the US, but it’s not nearly as wide spread. I have at least five hospitals within an hours drive of me and none of them charge for parking.

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