No change coming to hospital parking fees, province says

Ontario hospitals will be keeping their existing rules around parking lot rates, the province says, as Quebec moves to lower or eliminate fees at its health facilities. 

Ontario is keeping status quo as Quebec plans to lower rates

This photo taken last Thursday shows the parking pass options listed on the pay parking machine in the lobby of London Regional Cancer Centre at Victoria Hospital. Notice that it says the $75 pass is good for 30 'consecutive' days while the pricing on LHSC's website doesn't use the term 'consecutive,' saying only that the passes are valid for a 12-month period from the date of purchase. (Andrew Lupton/CBC )

Ontario hospitals will keep their existing rules around parking lot rates as Quebec moves to lower or eliminate fees at its health facilities. 

The Quebec government announced last week it would prevent hospitals from charging for the first two hours of parking and implement a daily cap of between $7 and $10. 

For the last three years, Ontario has had a freeze on hospital parking rates. It could have expired this month, but the Progressive Conservatives have left in place.

Under the freeze, rates can only increase at the rate of inflation. Hospitals are also required to offer five-day, 10-day and 30-day passes with discounted rates. 

Hayley Chazan, a spokesperson for health minister Christine Elliott, said they plan to leave the program as is. 

"There are no plans at the present time to revoke the hospital parking directive, created in May 2016 to help reduce the financial burden of hospital parking fees on patients and their frequent visitors," she said. 

If you want to park for a full day at the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus, it will set you back $13.25. (Danny Globerman/CBC)

The daily rate at CHEO, the region's children's hospital, is $14 per day, with a monthly pass going for $90.

The Bruyère hospitals also charge $14 per day, with a monthly pass going for $92.

The Queensway Carleton Hospital charges $14 per day. The monthly rate is $85.

Rates at the Ottawa Hospital's three campuses are similar, with a daily rate of $13.25 and a monthly rate of $94. 

Patrick Moore, a spokesperson for CHEO, said the money raised goes to the hospital's foundation, where it helps pay for things like new equipment and space upgrades. 

In 2018-19, that came to just over $4.5 million, with a third coming from staff parking, Moore said in an email.

Moore also said the hospital has a fund that can cover certain expenses for families in need, and that can include parking.