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Ontario government reduces hospital parking fees for frequent visitors

Ontario government announces hospital parking fee reductions for frequent visitors
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario government announces hospital parking fee reductions for frequent visitors

Frequent visitors at select hospitals across the province will now receive discounts of at least 50 per cent on their daily parking fees.

Hospitals that charge more than $10 per day for parking will now provide passes valid for five, 10 and 30 days. Premier Kathleen Wynne highlighted the change on Monday.

“The impetus for these changes around parking were about helping people who are at a very stressful time in their lives not to have an added burden of exorbitant parking rates,” said Wynne.

READ MORE: Winnipeg cancer patient furious about paid parking at hospitals starts petition

The passes rolled out over the weekend, beginning on Oct. 1. Patients and visitors can now enter and exit these parking lots throughout the day without having to pay each time.

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said the discount comes at a cost to hospitals that have now lost the revenue previously generated through parking fees. He said the government will work closely with the Ontario Hospital Association to make sure there are no “untoward effects” as a result.

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READ MORE: Ontario hospitals ordered to freeze parking rates and offer multi-day discounts

Hoskins announced the discount passes back in January when hospitals were ordered to freeze their parking rates.

Wynne said the latest change is part of a broader discussion about healthcare funding between the provinces and the federal government.