WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hospital parking fees contribute to financial toxicity among cancer patients, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences.

Noting that parking fees can contribute to financial toxicity in cancer care, Mustafa Al Balushi, M.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study from Feb. 1 to March 1, 2022, to examine cancer center parking fees in Western Canada and city-specific indices. Data were obtained from 115 community and regional cancer centers across four provinces.

The median hourly parking fee was 2.00 Canadian dollars (CAD) across all provinces, while the median daily cost of parking was 9.50 CAD. The researchers observed a significant positive association between the daily cost of parking and the cost of living in a city, with a correlation coefficient of 0.412. A significant positive association was also seen between daily cost of parking and cancer center address transit score, with a correlation coefficient of 0.676. A strong negative association was seen between cancer center address transit score and the presence of free parking, with a correlation coefficient of −0.613.

“What’s remarkable about our study is that to our knowledge this is the first time that someone has found significant correlations between daily cost of parking at cancer centers and city-specific indices in Canada,” Al Balushi said in a statement. “The findings of our study should inform stakeholders and decision-makers to consider the impact of parking-related financial toxicity on vulnerable cancer patients.”

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