A senior from Tatamagouche, N.S., says she spent hundreds of dollars on parking during her husband's cancer treatments because she was never told of a discount program.

Lee Carruthers underwent bowel cancer treatments in Halifax last year.

His wife, Ruth Carruthers, said parking in Halifax and Truro was expensive. Parking at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre is $3 per hour and about $14 per day.

“So at the end of the year when I did my income tax it was a shade over $900,” she said.

Patients receiving chemotherapy in Halifax are entitled to a 50 per cent parking discount.

But Carruthers said no one told her.


A medical journal editorial says Canadian hospitals should do away with hospital parking fees, arguing they add avoidable stress to patients. (CBC)

“You have to ask for it. And we said we did not know to ask for a discount ticket,” she said.

David Kersey, senior manager of business development at the Capital District Health Authority, said patients are alerted to the discount when they start their treatments.

About 700 people receive the parking discount.

“It's part of the package that's put together for them and it is on our website,” he said.

Carruthers said she knows other cancer patients who also paid full-price for parking.  

Now she wants her money back. 

“Definitely we think we should get it back. Because here it is, he’s on a fixed income and that was money that we could have put towards his medication,” she said.

Kersey said any patient who qualifies can ask for a refund.