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Why Are Hospital TV Rental Costs Expensive?

Estimated reading time: 20 minutes

When you realize how important a hospital tv is to a patient, the costs are nothing more than emergency expenses well spent.

When you’re in an all-white room in a not-so-comfy bed where not all patients can care for themselves, that hospital room becomes very lonely.

Why are Canadian hospital tv rentals so expensive?

Why are Canadian hospital tv rentals so expensive?
Why are Canadian hospital tv rentals so expensive?

Media and Music Are Healing

For many patients and caregivers in Ontario, the price of a hospital TV and WiFi is beyond over-priced and a topic I wanted to discuss with all of you.

Unfortunately, not all hospitals in Canada offer free WiFi, so it’s an added expense for patients.

I’ve always been the first to say if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it, but there are times in our lives when money is not the objective, life is.

This is something that Mrs. CBB and I have learned through personal experience and just recently with my sick father-in-law, who says, “You can’t bring money to the grave.”

Hook me up, but at what cost?

I learned recently that not all hospitals in Ontario offer the same perks and prices for technology-based services such as a hospital TV or Internet.

For example, these are the charges for WiFi at Hamilton Health Sciences hospitals, yet the University Hospital in London, Ontario, offers free WiFi.

Don’t worry; they make up for that with their overpriced cable bill.

Patients and visitors now have access to wireless high speed internet by connecting to our i-Visitor network at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).

Our wireless network allows patients and visitors to surf the web, check e-mail and connect with family and friends.

There are four options for wireless internet access at HHS:

  • 4 Hours – $5.95
  • 24 Hours – $9.95
  • 3 Days – $18.95
  • 7 Days – $28.95
  • 1 Month – $47.95

Can you think back to when a hospital TV saved you from overthinking, sadness, and loneliness?

Technology, whether a hand-held device such as a smartphone, tablet, Ipad, laptop, or other technology, has become predominant in almost every home.

Technology is a big deal for obvious reasons and will only continue to control our every move whether we choose to believe it or not.

We’ve become ‘conditioned consumers‘ by having the opportunity to view the world and people in real time without leaving home, and there’s no turning back.

Ontario Health Care

When I was researching moving to Canada from the UK, I wanted to learn more about the Ontario healthcare system, including the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), which anyone who lives here knows it’s pretty damn good.

Having the opportunity to get medical assistance without having to worry so much about paying for most services is a huge burden taken off a patient or family member’s shoulders.

Television and Radio have been around for a long time, but even back then, there was a slim chance of finding these perks in a hospital, let alone in a patient’s room.

Although invented in a rudimentary form in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that television came into its own.

In Canada, the CBC introduced its service on September 6, 1952, although several hundred thousand Canadians who lived within range of the American signals south of the border already owned television sets.- Historymuseum.ca

Mrs. CBB remembers when her sister was born, sitting in a waiting room for hours while their father and mother brought a new baby into the world.

She recalls looking through fashion magazines because that’s all she had and watching television about nothing kid related.

The television on the wall without a remote control was a distraction for her.

The first remote intended to control a television was developed by Zenith Radio Corporation in 1950.

The remote, called “Lazy Bones”, was connected to the television by a wire.

A wireless remote control, the “Flashmatic”, was developed in 1955 by Eugene Polley. – Wikipedia

Not being able to change the channel didn’t bother her because television made her feel like she wasn’t alone.

It motivated her to wait until it was time to go home.

Imagine what this technology might do for someone admitted to the hospital.

Many times television becomes the only friend someone has.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Hospital waiting rooms still exist, and many are equipped with televisions so visitors and patients can get up, walk, and enjoy some hospital TV.

Perhaps it’s a great way to get patients out of bed, although not all of them can, isolating them even more.

It’s tough when you know technology is available, but you can’t get to it unless you pay big bucks or get out of bed.

Don’t Cry, Daddy

Just a few years later, she was admitted into a London, Ontario hospital with a severe disease that left her unable to care for herself.

Her parents would drive back and forth every week, hours at a time, just to be with her.

It was an adamant time for the family because they knew all they could do was wait for the doctors.

In the meantime, she lay in her hospital bed doing nothing more than thinking about life from a child’s perspective. This was also a time when she heard her father crying for the first time.

To help the days pass, her parents ordered a hospital TV for her bedside even though they probably couldn’t afford it.

At that point, she could not do anything more than listen to the television as she could not see.

It sounds a bit odd, but getting a proper radio station on her Walkman just wasn’t happening.

She was lonely and just wanted to feel like she connected to the world, even if it was with a headset on.

Realistically when you’re admitted into a hospital, the last thing you want to be doing is catching up on missed episodes of The Young And The Restless.

Although, depending on the illness, a television can make a world of difference to a suffering patient.

It may remind them of happier times or things they enjoyed doing and still may do.

It’s a connection that is personal and powerful.

This is how we’ve come to depend on technology, even if only to soothe.

Maternity Ward Hospital TV

When Mrs. CBB was at McMaster Hospital, part of the Hamilton Health Sciences group giving birth to our son, she wasn’t so interested in a hospital TV rental due to exhaustion.

I know that all parents know exactly what I’m talking about.

Parenting is a tiring experience like you’ve never known before.

She preferred listening to music to relax and connect with family and friends via the Internet.

Other mothers were also engaged in technology to communicate with family.

I spent a week with Mrs. CBB and our son in the hospital, sleeping on a hard chair beside her bed.

Experiencing the pain of having a baby is not something I’d ever want to endure, and know that it can take its toll on women.

Childbirth was nothing I expected; it was more than I had expected.

The aftermath that I wasn’t ready for was the life change that started when our son was born.

The next few days, we met with doctors, nurses, breastfeeding consultants, and hospital staff in between trying to care for our son.

I did most of the work since Mrs. CBB could not do many tasks herself due to severe pain aftercare.

Nothing would work to get her mind off the pain apart from our son and other distractions, such as streaming music, YouTube videos, and talking to the family via social media.

The young mother in the bed beside us was so upset when she realized that her iPhone battery had died because she wanted to chat with the outside world.

No women I noticed in the maternity ward had televisions by their bedside instead they hooked into the web via hospital WiFi.

We knew that there would be an extended hospital stay for both mom and baby, so we tried to see how to get free or discounted hospital TV or WiFi, being the frugal couple that we are ahead of time.

Haha, ya right, as if that was going to happen.

It turns out that hospital TV and WiFi are not free, although some hospitals may have free guest WiFi access to patients.

Fair enough, we thought, because someone has to do the work and get paid to turn the TV systems on and off and for repairs.

What we weren’t ready for was the price!

Costs For Renting A Hospital TV vs. WiFi

Please don’t drop your jaw, but we ended up not ordering a hospital TV instead we hooked up the WiFi to the tune of nearly $20 a day!!

Let’s do the math.

One week at $20 a day for WiFi that’s 140 dollars plus tax, but worth every penny to Mrs. CBB at the time.

YES, it was that expensive, and we paid for it.

Credit card number, please.

It was a savior for both of us because it held us together being sandwiched next to a window in a large room where you weren’t alone.

We didn’t have private room coverage at the time, so it was nice to have something other than our conversation to keep our minds occupied when our baby was sleeping.

Through The Eyes Of A Dying Man

As you might know, Mrs. CBB’s father is very ill in an excellent Ontario hospital where we traveled to the other day and have been for about two weeks.

He is hours away from home, and there are no relatives in the community to visit him. At times breathing is harsh for him, and he feels like he’s being strangled.

At one point, he jumped off the bed and scared us because we thought the worst as he couldn’t breathe.

This, coupled with pain, hoping and praying that he makes it to surgery where doctors can do more investigation, is tough.

When we first walked into this cold white room, we caught Mrs. CBB’s father looking through an open space in the curtain to watch his neighbour’s Hospital TV.

Although he’s in so much pain that television is a distraction box in many ways for many patients.

We already knew he was a TV junkie because this kept him motivated when he couldn’t get out of bed or off the couch at home.

Since we hadn’t ever purchased a hospital TV package before, I made some phone calls and ultimately talked to a few people.

This is where you would go to get your hospital TV rental and pay via credit card.

Hospital TV Rental Monthly Costs

How much does hospital TV cost?

Prices may vary, but too much for anyone, especially patients with no health benefits that may cover the costs of a hospital TV or anyone who is not in a position to pay $300 plus for a one-month stay.

You might be saying, “We’ll go without then,” just like you would if you had no money and started charging stuff on a credit card.

Fair enough. However, this is not about the money or overspending on frivolous things. It’s about LIFE and doing whatever is possible to make sure a patient is as comfortable as possible.

Imagine just laying in a bed day and night, staring at the wall and transitioning to the ceiling day in and day out.

Mix that with pain and suffering, and it becomes a VERY long day, week, month, year,, etc.

Maybe you have and know what I’m talking about because you recall when you were in that hospital bed.

When your body is shutting down on its own, but your mind is still alert, the last thing you want is to let it go.

Watching him wave to his sister on Skype like he was that baby brother while crying because he didn’t want to die killed us inside.

Don’t Cry, Daughter

Why do they need to charge patients $300 a month to watch a hospital television in such an awful time of their life?

Most of us complain about paying $60 monthly at home for cable television.

The entire charge seems ridiculous, but after watching her father crying, she started to cry, and he said, “Don’t cry, daughter” There’s nothing more I can do for this life but pray and hope to God that he spares me a bit more time.

It Is What It Is

It was at that moment that flashbacks to when Mrs. CBB was in the hospital as a child and she heard her father crying while sitting in the corner chair.

He knew he could lose his daughter to brain surgery that would take them to New York. No parent wants to make that decision, but it was made.

She knew that her parents paid for her hospital TV and probably had to pay outrageous costs back in the 80s as well.

Even though they were both working back then, the mortgage interest rates at over 18% took a toll on them.

Today her parents are far from well-off or even close.

They live pay to pay on a limited disability income and little to no savings, which covers the mortgage, bills, and medications they need.

It Was The Right Thing To Do

When we discovered the hospital TV costs, we were initially shocked but didn’t think twice about charging our credit card the $300 for the month.

After a month, they give you ten days free, at which point, if you are still a patient, the entire process starts over again.

Yes, the math is disheartening even for our frugal family,, but for a dying patient, this is their world, and you can’t put a price tag on that.

On the flip side, the hospital WiFi was free, which we found odd since we had to pay at McMaster a few years back.

The only problem is that not everyone knows how to use a smartphone or owns one.

My father-in-law, just before Christmas, finally turned in his flip-phone and replaced it with an LG smartphone.

He has no idea how to use his cell phone apart from answering the phone, which is sometimes a challenge.

So although we could have done away with the $300 hospital TV charge, it wouldn’t happen.

We did give him a quick lesson on YouTube, Netflix, Skype, and how to text messages in hopes that he might use the free services.

We were optimistic and even knew he’s struggling to see due to the number of drugs he was on.

Lesson Learned

Although he insisted he gives us the cash for the hospital TV rental, we both knew he couldn’t give up that kind of money.

He still carries cash, and that’s all he’s ever used in his lifetime.

No debit cards, no credit cards-nothing. He has them but doesn’t use them.

It’s not because he doesn’t want to or has to either.

He doesn’t know how to deal with learning about life any other way than the cash way to pay.

Mrs. CBB told me in the elevator on the way out, while wiping away her tears, that she would pay and do anything she had to for her parents to ensure they were comfortable.

At that moment, she recalled when she was an ill child, and her parents did everything for her to make her hospital stay comfortable.

That meant the world to her.

It may not be an ideal situation for everyone but for us we have the money and like her father says, “I can’t take my money to the grave”.

That may be true,, but making sure an emergency savings, retirement investments, life insurance, and all those other things in between is important.

Sure, you might not afford them all,, but even a little monthly savings is better than no savings.

Sometimes the small things in life cost the most but have the most significant impact on people.

Choose your happiness wisely and focus on other ways to make up for any shortcomings that may have deterred your financial goals.

This past week Mrs. CBB has witnessed her father cry for the second time in her life, and it hurts just as much as it did when she heard it the first time.

You can’t put a price on love; you just can’t.

Prayers, please for the family.

Discussion Question: Can you think of a time you spent an outrageous amount of money for something well over-priced but knew it would make a difference in someone’s life?

Please leave your comments below.

CBB At Home– Saturday Weekend Review

This week has been piled high for me with the hospital visits, snowfall, and trying to balance family, work, and blog.

The only fun thing we did this past week was go to the park with the sled, make a snowman, and watch kids play and skate.

It was nice to get out of the house with the little guy.

He’s not a massive fan of the snow, but he loves playing in it like any other kid on the block.

I think for 2018, you will see two of The Saturday Weekend posts each month, depending on the month.

This is because I can spend more time with my family as I no longer work weekends.

I also believe that a good blog sends out quality posts, which I’ve always aimed to do.

Although I’d like to keep them short, I struggle with that since a post by me often tells a story.

So, if you still read my writings, thank you.

That’s my week in a nutshell.


CBB Published Posts

chai spiced pear scones 4 pinterest

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question, please ensure that there are minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Contact me for more info at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca

Top Post This Week: Free Money-Saving Tools

Weekly Read

With everything going on in our family, reading “My Husband Died At Age 34- Here are 40 Life-Lessons I’ve Learned” inspired me to share it with all of you.

There was something said in every lesson that made sense to me, and I hope that it touches you in a way that opens your eyes to a better world.

Make Your Own Home-Made Recipes. Eat Well.

On my sabbatical, I came up with my own organic recipes.

My late husband’s illness was hypertension-related and I knew I had to start eating better and getting the kids to also eat healthier.

Keisha Blair- Mom to three cool kids, Co-Founder of Aspire-Canada (www.aspire-canada.com), Featured Expert at YOUInc. and author.

Making A Difference 2018

Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

The Making A Difference Networking Series 2018 is booking NOW!!

If you are a Personal Finance Blogger from anywhere around the world and haven’t featured your blog, please get in touch with me today for a date and details.

Depending on booking and publication dates, this feature may not run every Saturday Weekend Review (SWR).

inspire header 2

Hey CBB readers,

  • Why do smart people continually make foolish decisions with their money (myself included)?
  • Why do people not save more for the future when they know they need to?
  • Why do we enter stores expecting to buy 5 items but walk out with 25?

The answer to these questions, and others, led me to start my blog methodtoyourmoney.ca.

Update 2023- Blogger no longer blogs on this website but still worth the read.

Method To Your Money

My name is Matt Matheson.

I’m 36 and married to a beautiful, intelligent, creative woman.

We have two little kids, a daughter who just turned 5 and a little boy who’s 2.

Our lives are busy right now. Both my wife and I are educators (she’s a school counsellor and I’m an assistant principal).

My wife is working on her master’s in educational psychology, and I thought that would be the perfect time to…start a blog!

I started my blog about three months ago, and it’s been live for two months!

My focus is on different methods and mindsets to inspire people’s finances.

I’m particularly interested in how our thoughts about money impact how we handle it.

I’ve written a lot on the psychology of money and how this can lead us to make irrational decisions.

As I write on my blog, deep inside our brains, we think we are rational but are far from it.

Through my posts, I want to encourage people to understand some of the natural tendencies we have to be irrational with money.

We show them how to overcome and automate their finances so that they can win with money without spending so much time thinking about it.

I also love writing about developing a growth mindset with our finances and in life and how my wife and I strive to pass on our money values to our kids.

As an educator, I also have the opportunity to teach my students about personal finance.

I teach the 5th and 6th graders in my school a class on Personal Finance.

Starting my blog has been an exciting journey, filled with ups and downs.

I’ve had lots of great feedback from readers and some exciting breaks.

I woke up one morning to find the email in my inbox, and it was super affirming to know that someone thinks that what I’m writing is good, you know, besides my wife and mom.

One of my articles was also featured by the Globe and Mail, and I’ve been able to be on a few podcasts.

Then I’ve had the lows where I’ll write something I think is awesome, but for whatever reason, not many people read it.

The hardest thing has been being patient as I get my name out there.

I want people to READ my work, and I love interacting with readers and chatting with them!

The personal finance community has been AMAZING! 

I also run an entrepreneurial program in the school where we partner with a local business leader, and the students start their businesses, complete with business plans, marketing, manufacturing, and sales!

I’ve had numerous guest post opportunities, offers to mentor me, and people willing to bend over backward to help get my name and message out there (including Mr. CBB, who has been AWESOME!!).

I have met many wonderful and supportive people who want to help me grow in my journey.

Thanks, Mr. CBB, for being awesome and allowing me to meet other fantastic readers and bloggers!!

CBB Words of Wisdom

remember to live life along the way you can take money to the grave quote

You get this one chance to live life, so do it.

Parenting and Gardening 101

stop saying you are so smart to your kids meme

We both admit to telling our son that he is so smart and realize that it might not be the best choice of words.

The last thing we want our son to think is that he has to be smart or perfect in some way to get rewards or gain recognition from his family.

If you’re a parent print this chart that showcases 30 things to say if you want to teach kids about a growth mindset and put it on your refrigerator, we have it! Source: Schoolhouse Divas


quality time language of love meme

I’ve talked on the blog numerous times about how I work too much, and we need more quality family time. I recognized a hole, and it had to be fixed.

In the meantime, our relationship was at a standstill because we wanted to make sure that I finished what I needed to for my career so we could move forward.

We learned that along the way, it’s still important to take more time than we did out for each other and our family.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will reap the rewards of tomorrow and forget about today.

Tomorrow is never promised to anyone.  – photo source

Top Budget-Friendly Recipe


Kara over at CreationsByKara got my drool approval this week with a relatively easy and inexpensive recipe for these Butterscotch Maple Bars.

There is something about the winter season that transitions me from cookies and such to bars and squares.

It seems as if they are the comfort snack for those winter blues.

Saturday Search Term Giggles

kermit the frog
Google Search Terms for Canadian Budget Binder

Every week there are thousands of visitors to Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

(SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly, and it has spelling errors.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • Low-carb cauliflower pickles– Did you mean pickled cauliflower, or is there something I haven’t learned yet about pickles in Canada?
  • How to get out of Canada?– That’s funny. I thought people were rushing to get in.
  • Google, I would  like to renovate my house– Ha, so would I
  • Can you sell your clothes to Value Village– Ha, nice try, but no.

Note: Some posts on CBB may be paid and written by me and is of my opinion of a product/service that I’ve tried and used before. Please read the disclaimer.

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  1. It is way too expensive for what you get.
    The same shows you were showing in Feb are still being shown

    Everubody Loves Raymoind…Fraser etc.
    You are ripoing people off!!
    And we kerp losing signal!!

    1. I’m not 100% sure what shows were shown but if that’s the case that’s ridiculous. For the price, patients should get premium service. I think more people are just using their cell phones with the free wi-fi at the hospital. I don’t blame them.

  2. Hi Mr. CBB,
    I really like your approach to this challenge. You are right when you say that you can’t take it to the grave. Money is important, but not the most important thing. I enjoyed reading your post. I also have a question for you: the provincial government is offering a really big rebate on installing energy efficient windows. We are in desperate need of new windows on the upper level of our home. The windows that are there are letting in a lot of cold/hot air depending on the season and we feel like we are paying to either cool or heat the exterior of our home. We have just started the budgeting process and are not sure of how to proceed. We do not have the money saved for this expense. What are your thoughts?
    Thanks for your time,

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