SHOULD HOSPITALS SCRAP PARKING FEES?
EDITORIAL SAYS CHARGE HINDERS ACCESS TO CARE
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November 29, 2011
Do some hospitals provide parking-centered care instead of patient-centered care? An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) this week makes a case for abolishing hospital parking fees, arguing that they limit access to care.
According to the journal's interim Editor-in-Chief Rajendra Kale, some patients have no choice but to drive to hospitals and park in their lots, which can charge by the hour, creating an "avoidable stress to patients who have enough to deal with."
Kale suggests that these fees also can interfere with clinical consultations. For example, "some patients (who have often waited several weeks to see a doctor) try to end a consultation abruptly when they realize that they will have to pay for an additional hour for parking."
According to Kale, parking fees likely account for only 1% of total hospital revenue, a sacrifice hospitals can make to "facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers" under Canadian law.
However, Ontario Hospital Association CEO Tom Closson says the fees provide critical funding for hospitals. For example, he says $230 million is raised each year from parking fees in Ontario (CMAJ, 11/28; Brennan, Toronto Star, 11/28).
is this what is considered "a stress to patients" and is this what they consider "a limit to access to care"? Where is the editorial on venous stenosis as a stress to patients. what about the lack of access to ccsvi care in Canada?