New policies at hospitals around the country implemented this week limit the maximum charge for parking to NIS 20. The change is designed to relieve what is often a significant economic burden on family and friends who spend long hours in the hospital, visiting and taking care of loved ones.
Under the new rules, hospitals can charge no more than NIS 20 for up to 24 hours of parking. In some parking lots, especially in Tel Aviv, that was the sum charged per hour of parking. Drivers can enter and leave the parking lot unlimited times during the 24-hour period without incurring an additional fee.
In addition to lowering the cost of parking for visitors, patients and visitors of patients who are in the hospital for an extended period of time will get a break as well. Vehicles belonging to patients and family of patients who are hospitalized for more than two weeks will get free parking from the 15th day of the patient’s hospitalization. Also exempt from parking fees will be parents of infants, dialysis patients, family members of hospitalized soldiers, volunteers of chessed groups, and cancer patients who are receiving radiation therapy.
Commenting on the changes, Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said in a statement that they were “significant changes that will provide important social benefits for many Israelis, both those in the hospitals and their family members. There is no reason a visit to the hospital should cost so much money. We cannot and will not accept a situation where prices are hiked to take advantage of those who need medical care.”