Research: The price of parking in hospitals affects the health of patients

The hospitals located in the centers of major cities in Israel have become notorious due to the high parking prices in their areas. As mentioned, the rate – set by private companies – affects patients who have to come to the hospital with high frequency, such as cancer patients and their families. In fact, it is one of the two most burdensome areas financially for cancer patients and their families.

A new study published in a Canadian journal reveals another possible damage of the high prices – except for the economic aspect. Oncologists and a biostatistician from the University of Alberta in Canada published a study titled – “A toxic assessment of financial toxicity related to parking costs for cancer patients in Western Canada”, and deals with the price of parking for cancer treatment centers in the region.

The researchers examined the cost of entering the public parking lot intended for patients at 115 cancer treatment centers located in the west of the country, and compared them to a number of statistics, including the median income for a household, the level of the cost of living in the city and other aspects related to transportation in the area. Another aspect included in the comparison is the question of whether parking in the center costs money.

According to the researchers, there is a balance between the daily entrance fee to the parking lots, the level of transportation and the cost of living there. In fact, from the data it emerged, among other things, that in the more expensive cities – there are fewer free parking spaces, which exacerbates the (already heavy) financial burden on the patients.” Another issue that came up is that these data may affect the decisions that patients make regarding medical treatment.

In fact, one study even claims that “hidden”, non-medical costs, such as the cost of parking and steps to get to the location, contributed to an estimated loss of wages of approximately 3.18 billion Canadian dollars, for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. One of the ways to make it easier for patients in the financial sense is to provide them with a certain discount on parking at the hospital, or access to payment vouchers for public transportation.

By Editor

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