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Your hospital parking stories

We reached out to you to tell us your experiences of hospital parking and we were overwhelmed by responses. Here is some of what you had to say:

Note: responses have been edited for length and style.



"About 12 years ago, I checked myself into the psych ward for depression. They kept me five days on a 72 hour hold so I guess I really needed their help. I am a professional with a job at the time but had a lot of things going wrong in my life and I sought professional help, and thankfully found and received it.

Now, when they finally released me, I was shocked to find I had a $96 parking bill if I wanted to get my car out of the parking lot. Money being one of the problems I had at the time, I then drove over to the area of the hospital where I had been staying (a temporary building at ground level at that time) and went in to explain that something should be done about this sort of thing as I had wanted to kill myself when I got there and now I was faced with having even less money to deal with my bills immediately upon being released. Thankfully I was leaving in a much better state of mind than when I had arrived but I certainly felt like I was being punished for 'doing the right thing' by going to the hospital to get the help I needed. Talk about adding insult to injury."

 

"In 2012 I was enrolled in the Cardiac Rehab Program. The program runs 2 days per week for 6 months. It is easy to hit the daily maximum of $16 which is $128 per month. The alternative is a monthly pass for $80. Basically, you are required to pay $480 in parking fees if you want to park at the hospital for the duration of the program. Right next door to the hospital is a city owned Wellness Centre which has FREE parking if you are using the facility and across the street is a professional building that also has FREE parking."

 



"After the birth of my son, my wife had to be readmitted to the hospital due to an infection in her uterus. Doctors told us that we would only be in the hospital for a few days and so our saga with the hospital parking began. A day parking pass cost us $15/day. Many days, I didn't wake up on time from my wife's hospital room to get to the parking lot to pay for a new pass as I was up during the night to help her feed our newborn, so we also got ticketed. We ended up staying at the hospital for 7 days, and only during my second last trip to the parking meter did I see a sign for a weekly parking pass for $40.

 

During a time that should've been a celebration, not only did I have to worry about my wife and her infection, I also had to worry about running back and forth to the parking meter and paying for tickets.

At the end of it all, we ended up spending almost $200 for parking (incl. the tickets) for the week that we spent at the hospital. Had those signs about the weekly parking pass been more prevalent and easily read, it would have only cost us $40 and I could've focused on taking care of my new family."

 

parking ticket"After the birth of my son, my wife had to be readmitted to the hospital due to an infection in her uterus. Doctors told us that we would only be in the hospital for a few days and so our saga with the hospital parking began. A day parking pass cost us $15/day. Many days, I didn't wake up on time from my wife's hospital room to get to the parking lot to pay for a new pass as I was up during the night to help her feed our newborn, so we also got ticketed. We ended up staying at the hospital for 7 days, and only during my second last trip to the parking meter did I see a sign for a weekly parking pass for $40.

During a time that should've been a celebration, not only did I have to worry about my wife and her infection, I also had to worry about running back and forth to the parking meter and paying for tickets.

At the end of it all, we ended up spending almost $200 for parking (incl. the tickets) for the week that we spent at the hospital. Had those signs about the weekly parking pass been more prevalent and easily read, it would have only cost us $40 and I could've focused on taking care of my new family."


 

"[My hospital] is probably one of the most frustrating places for anyone to go to, mainly because you simply cannot afford the parking fees. Without fail, with one of my oncologists, I would arrive a few minutes early for my checkup appointment, yes, just a checkup, and I would have to wait at least two hours each time to see my doctor. At $4 a HALF HOUR, that appointment just cost me -- a patient who was off work at the time because of my surgery and recovery time -- a minimum of $16. The last time I was there for this particular doctor, I waited four hours. The maximum daily rate is $23, but for someone on short-term disability, that, plus the cost of gas to get there from where I live, is outrageous. They should never charge patients parking fees. It's simply not right... I have to be there an hour early for blood work prior to each appointment, that appointment now sets me back, once again, at least $16 for each checkup. The irony is that cancer patients are told that stress is a bad thing, yet the hospital has no problem stressing us out with their fees and threats of tickets, should you use the pre-paid parking lot... It's a giant cash grab and I think it's extremely sad that this is how these institutions choose to make their money."

 

"When you park all day at the hospital, the maximum fee only runs till 6:00 p.m. If you are 5 minutes after 6 your will be ticketed. My sister had hip surgery in the morning. I knew about the 6:00 policy (which is just a money grab). She had an emergency and instead of waking up from her surgery she was on a ventilator. I waited all day to talk to a doctor and when he finally came it was 5:40. I had to speak with him and by the time I got to the car at 6:10 I had a $75 ticket. This is outrageous because I had already paid $13 to park there for the day."


 

"This was a few years ago. My brother was suffering from severe Crohn's disease and needed surgery. We were told to arrive two hours before 8:00 a.m. procedure. When I left late that night after I saw that he was doing OK I was charged something like $35 for parking. It seems their schedules allowed for a maximum of $24 per day but because we got there before the start of a normal day 6:00 a.m. I was charged time for the previous day."

 

"I was given a parking ticket when I was in the hospital having tests done. I went to the administration and they took care of my ticket. I was told by [the] administration that anybody that myself or anyone I knew, who got a parking ticket, that they would take care of the ticket. What happens to the poor people that do not complain? I have heard of many people that have up to a $500 Visa bill to pay from parking passes because their spouse has been in the hospital for many weeks. I have been in emergency as a patient and had to go out of the hospital to renew my parking pass. What would happen if I was hooked up to a heart monitor? When a family member is dying in the hospital we should not have to worry about a parking ticket. How dare the hospital dictate that you have to use your Visa card or have a fist full of change to pay for parking. I plan to picket our local hospitals about the parking in April. I feel so bad for the people on a low income who find this cost beyond their means."

"I have been receiving infusions of blood plasma every three weeks for over 20 years. I am very appreciative of this life saving treatment for my Primary Immune Deficiency Disorder, but it requires a full day of treatment. The only place to park near the hospital that I receive this treatment costs $17 each time. I needed to spend that amount every 3 weeks for 20 years, in order to take the least amount of time off of work (teaching). For the past three years I have been unable to work, so we can no longer afford a second car, or the parking for me. My husband drives me to my treatment every three weeks, and I take the three buses home. This has obviously been difficult for me, especially given that side effects of headache and extreme tiredness set in within two hours of the treatment."

 

My husband was admitted to the hospital through their emergency with pneumonia but while there caught the C.Difficile......so this extended the stay from two weeks to four weeks but because he is a diabetic, fighting all these infections his sugar levels were all over the map.....so they kept him in there for six weeks. ... The parking there is a nightmare and so expensive. I would venture a rough guess on the credit cards between $400 to $500. I did not realize they had a monthly parking pass ... for $53, well if I only knew at the beginning he would have been there that long ,I could have saved myself a lot of money... but how can anyone know that ahead of time? ... Being seniors, this is so tough to handle on a credit card that charges 19.9%. Because who carries $11.75 in change every day?"

 

"In March 2012, my husband was hospitalized with a life threatening illness. Needless to say, parking fees were not my top priority. Over the first day or so, I was in and out of the hospital parking lot, paying the fee each time I exited. Because I came and went throughout the day, I ended up paying more than the "daily maximum" as it will only allow for one exit, unless paid in advance at the business office. The next few days, I purchased daily passes. I had now paid in excess of the weekly rate. At this point, we weren't sure when my husband would be discharged, so I went to the business office and asked it I could upgrade to the weekly pass. I was told, "no", that I would have had to have purchased it in advance. Generally when one is hospitalized, it is not known how long their stay will be. I found this policy bizarre to say the least. I can deal with paying for parking, but to not be able to put the fees I had already paid towards a lengthier pass? I find this unacceptable."

 

"My wife was having our first child and it ended up having to do a C-section for our baby. Due to this we were about three days in the hospital. I was working each day and coming to visit in the mornings and evenings. I didn't predict that we would be at the hospital for three days. After all was said and done I got a nice Visa bill of roughly $60 for the three days we were there. It may not seem like a lot, but when you're just starting a family on a single income every dollar counts."

 

"My wife was often in hospital on and off over a period of 2.5 years. The parking fees were capped at $16 and at least two members of the family -- sometimes more -- would visit daily. The cost could add up to over $250 per week. I have no doubt that a hospital needs to cover the cost of providing parking and make a small return on their parking 'business'. However, I would ask for more monitoring and transparency on a burdensome cost to already stressed patients and relatives."