Is the high cost of parking a barrier to hospital services?


Original article atopseudiablogue

Does the high cost of hospital parking deter the public from accessing health services?

In 2006 we sought the answer to this question through a Vector Poll.

Over half of those surveyed in Ontario – 55 per cent – said the high cost of parking would deter low-income people from getting the health services they need. Another four per cent said it would depend on circumstances.

When the survey was broken out by income, that response climbed to 74 per cent among those earning less than $30,000 per year.

For those accessing regular services at their local hospital, this can add up to a significant amount, particularly for those on fixed incomes. We recently calculated that a rise in parking charges at Rouge Valley Health System would cost weekly users a total of $800 per year. For cancer patients attending three times per week, that would mean $2,400 per year.
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McGuinty Government Proposes New Rules, Higher Standards For Broader Public Sector


This will impact St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, one of 14 Ontario hospitals identified as hiring lobbyists to obtain increased government funding.

From the Province of Ontario newsroom site:

“Using taxpayer dollars to hire an external lobbyist to ask for more taxpayer dollars is a practice that has gone on for too long – it’s unacceptable and it’s over. We have to focus our investments on front-line health care and public programs. It’s what the public expects and deserves.”

– Deb Matthews
Minister of Health and Long Term Care

Ontario is proposing strict new rules that would prevent organizations funded with taxpayer dollars from using public funds to hire external lobbyists to ask for more funding.

The proposed Broader Public Sector Accountability Act would, if passed, bring in new rules and higher accountability standards for hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and the broader public sector around the use of external lobbyists, consultants and expenses. Hospital and LHIN executives could see reductions in pay, should they fail to comply with the requirements under the proposed Act.
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