Parking Wars

25 Aug

For those of you who have large SUV’s, trucks or have ever needed to go to the emergency room and had to park in the top lot at McMaster Hospital you know how expensive it can be.

When my daughter was first-born and in the NICU we could actually buy a 2 week parking pass for that lot – which believe me made a world of difference.  The most recent hospitalization of my daughter has not only weighed heavily on my heart but it has also weighed heavily on my wallet.  The company that owns the parking area has since changed the above ground lot to “Premium” parking.  Anything more than a couple of hours costs $20.00 and you can’t leave the lot or it starts all over again.  Let’s do the math – we’ve been in the hospital thus far for two weeks, for myself alone it has cost me $280.00 for TWO WEEKS!

My husband attempted several times to speak to the parking manager about our situation, when the manager was finally available his only response was I can’t do anything.  The suggested option was to park in an off site lot, wait for a shuttle bus that would drop you off at the back of the University campus and walk to the hospital.  As parents of a child in the ICU this was NOT and option.

I understand that everyone must make money, and perhaps the owner of these lots had a very good reason for taking away the above ground parking pass.  However, I wonder if when making this decision they took into account the families of all the sick children in the hospital who are having to worry about paying a fortune for parking on top of everything else they are already going through.

We did eventually come up with a way around having to park off site.  My husband – being the crafty man he is ended up putting over 300 lbs of sand bags in our SUV to lower it just enough to fit in the underground parking where the cost for two weeks of was around $54.00 (less than 3 days parking in the “premium” lot)

5 Responses to “Parking Wars”

  1. Deb Newman August 25, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    we went through the same thing with our daughter Katelyn who spent 14 out of 19 months in the hospital. It’s ridiculous that they would make their money out of parents who stay with their sick children! One hospital was $25 a day , add that to being 4hrs away from home, my husband missing wages because he came to visit and stay with us every week end, me no longer working and buying hospital meals everyday. What REALLY ticked me off was that if your child had cancer you got passes, if your child had a transplant you got passes, but since Katelyn had a “rare disorder” we did not qualify for any of those…..where is the fairness in that?

    I really wish there were more options for parents with sick children, or children with rare disorders. I am sorry you have to deal with that kind of crap! Wherever you live, does the hospital have a social worker that can help you with covering those costs??

    • Little Ladybug Hugs August 25, 2010 at 7:04 am #

      That’s a really good question. I will ask to see a social worker when I go back in this morning. Thank you so much for the reply to my post, it truly means a lot to hear from other families.

  2. Julie August 25, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    Interesting that you posted this! When Kim and I left Mac after visiting you and Amira last week and paid for the parking, I turned to her and said “how’s that for a kick in the teeth – you have a sick kid and ALSO get to go broke hanging out with your kid at the hospital!!” No one is cutting you parents a break!

  3. Chantel August 26, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    I drive an excursion and can fully emphathize with the parking issues! At our Hospital I can NEVER find parking and my truck won’t fit in the underground. It disgusts me that they make parents pay so much – there should be some special rate or something. Last time I was at McMaster with one of my children I was lucky that I was able to get dropped off and picked up – avoiding the cut in the wallet. Credit Valley (which is my home hospital) after 1hr costs close to $20! Good for the hubby to come up with such a great idea with the sand – however a lot of labour involved just to be able to see your child:( All the best:)

    • Little Ladybug Hugs August 26, 2010 at 10:27 am #

      Thank you so much for your post. It really does help to know I’m not alone with the frustrations of hospital parking.

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