Earlier this year, the provincial government announced that it would be making hospital parking more affordable for patients, their families and visitors as part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.
The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, announced that a Provincial Hospital Parking Directive, providing details about the new hospital parking policy, would be released in the form of a Directive in the near future. In the meantime, hospitals were advised that they are to:
- cap daily parking rates at the current rate for three years, after which rates may be increased by the annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index; and
- maintain ownership of their currently owned parking facilities for three years (unless the Minister consents to their disposition).
Among other things, the Directive will require hospitals to offer discounted parking passes. Starting on October 1, 2016, hospitals charging more than $10 a day for parking will be required to offer 5-, 10- and 30-day passes that are:
- discounted by 50% of their daily maximum rate;
- transferable between patients and caregivers;
- equipped with in-and-out privileges throughout a 24-hour period; and
- valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Hospitals are to work directly with their Patient and Family Advisory Councils to implement this new parking policy. Each hospital is expected to provide details on its specific parking policy and discounted rates.
Hospitals whose parking lots are operated by their Foundation or by private operators under a contract are expected to make best efforts to ensure that the terms and conditions of the Directive are complied with.