Ontario Nurses support CMAJ call to end hospital parking fees barrier

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Canada's largest nurses' union commends Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) editor in chief Dr. Rajendra Kale for his editorial calling for patient, rather than parking, centered health care.

"Parking fees charged by hospitals can be a barrier to health care and this barrier should be addressed," said Vicki McKenna, RN, First Vice-President of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA).

"Our union's members regularly experience patients who self-ration their access to health care because of exorbitant parking fees levied by public hospitals in Ontario."

"What's even more absurd is that hospitals generate revenue from parking fees because of insufficient government funding."

"ONA and other hospitals workers' unions would be happy to work with Ontario's hospitals in pushing governments to fully fund the cost of our valued public health care system," said McKenna, addressing concerns raised by one particular high-profile critic of the CMAJ editorial.

"Nurses welcome a thoughtful discussion on this important public policy matter which is essentially about what can be done to remove unnecessary and arbitrary barriers to health care."

ONA is the union representing 57,000 front-line RNs and allied health professionals and more than 13,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario communities, hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, industry and clinics.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information:

Ontario Nurses' Association

Sheree Bond    shereeb@ona.org  (416) 964-1979 ext.2430;  cell: (416) 986-8240
Ken Marciniec   kenm@ona.org   (416) 964-1979 ext.2306;  cell: (416) 803-6066
www.ona.org;    www.Facebook.com/OntarioNurses;    www.Twitter.com/OntarioNurses 


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