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Why Are Hospital TV Rental Costs So Expensive?

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When You Realize How Important A Hospital TV Is To A Patient The Costs Are Nothing More Than An Emergency Expense Well Spent.

When you’re in an all-white room in a not so comfy bed where not all patients are able to take care of themselves that hospital room becomes a very lonely world.

For many patients and care-givers 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.

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 where the 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?

What I did learn recently is 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 Wi-Fi at Hamilton Health Sciences hospitals yet the University Hospital in London, Ontario offers free Wi-Fi.

Don’t worry, they more than 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 a time when a hospital TV saved you from over-thinking, sadness, and loneliness?

Technology whether it is a hand-held device such as a smartphone, tablet, Ipad or laptops, and other technology, has become predominant in just about 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 doing research about moving to Canada from the UK I wanted to learn more about the Ontario healthcare system including the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) which for 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 patients or family members shoulders.

Television and Radio have been around for a long time but even back then there was a slim chance 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 were bringing a new baby into the world.

She recalls looking through fashion magazines because that’s all she had and watched television about nothing kid related. The television mounted on the wall without a remote control was nothing more than 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 that television made her feel like she wasn’t alone. It gave her that motivation to wait until it was time to go home.

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

Many times a television becomes the only friend someone has. Let that sink in for a moment.

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

Perhaps it’s a way to get patients out of bed which is great although not all of them can which isolates 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 can get out of bed.

Don’t Cry, Daddy

Just a few years later she would be admitted into a London, Ontario hospital with a serious 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 extremely tough 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 was unable to do nothing more than listen to the television as she was unable to see.

Sounds a bit odd but getting a proper radio station on her walk-man 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 in their lives or of 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

When Mrs. CBB was at McMaster hospital part of the Hamilton Health Sciences group giving birth to our son she wasn’t so much interested in a hospital TV rental because of exhaustion every.single.day.

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

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

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

She wasn’t alone either as other mothers engaged technology to communicate with family and loved ones.

I spent a week with Mrs. CBB and our son in the hospital sleeping on a hard chair next to her hospital 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 that I expected, it was more than I had expected.

It was the after-math that I wasn’t ready for, the life change which started the minute our son was born.

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

I did most of the work since Mrs. CBB was unable to do many of the tasks herself due to severe pain after-care.

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 touch base with the outside world.

No women that I noticed on the maternity ward had televisions by their bedside rather they hooked into the web via hospital Wi-Fi.

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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi tend not to be free although some areas hospitals may have free guest Wi-Fi 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!

Don’t drop your jaw but we ended up not ordering a hospital TV rather we hooked up the WiFi to the tune of near $20 a day!!

Let’s do the math.

One week at $20 a day for Wi-Fi 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 saviour for both of us because it holds 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 travelled 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 tough 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 and hoping and praying that he makes it to surgery where doctors can do more investigation is tough.

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

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

We already knew that he was a TV junkie because this is what 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 an ultimately talked to a few people via the Hospitality Network Canada.

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

Hospital TV rental Monthly Costs

Hospital television Rental

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 not about the money or overspending for frivolous things it’s about LIFE and doing whatever 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 and so on.

Maybe you have and know what I’m talking about because you are recalling a time that it was you 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 on earth do they need to charge patients $300 dollars a month to watch a hospital television in such an awful time of their life?

Most of us complain about paying $60 a month 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 that he could lose his daughter to brain surgery that would take them to New York. No parent wants to make that kind of 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 80’s as well.

Even though they were both working back then the mortgage interest rates at over 18% really 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 found out the costs for the hospital TV 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 10 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 patient who is dying this is their world and you can’t put a price tag on that.

On the flip side the hospital Wi-Fi 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 a challenge at times.

So although we could have done away with the $300 hospital TV charge it wasn’t going to 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 being optimistic and even know he’s struggling to see due to the number of drugs he is on.

Lesson Learned

Although he insisted he give us the cash for the hospital TV rental we both knew he wasn’t in a position to 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 just doesn’t know how to deal with learning about life any other way than the cash way to pay.

Mrs. CBB said to 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 make sure they were comfortable.

It was 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 along the way an emergency savings, retirement investments, life insurance and all those other things in between are important.

Sure, you might not afford them all but even just a little savings each month is better than no savings at all.

Sometimes it’s the small things in life that cost the most but have the biggest 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 in the process.

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 that was well over-priced but knew it would make a difference in someone’s life?

CBB At Home

This week as 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 is go to the park with the sled, made a snowman and watched kids play and skate.

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

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

I think for 2018 you will see 2 of The Saturday Weekend posts each month depending on the month.

The reason for this is so I can spend more time with my family as I’m no longer working weekends.

I also believe that a good blog sends out quality posts which is what I’ve always aimed to do over the years.

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

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If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is 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

Favourite 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 had your blog featured please contact me today for a date and details.

This feature may not run every Saturday Weekend Review (SWR) depending on booking and publication dates.

inspire header 2

Hey CBB readers,

  • Why do smart people seem to continually make stupid decisions with their money (myself included)?
  • Why do people not save more for the future, when they know they need to?
  • Why do we walk into 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.

Matt Matheson head shotMy name is Matt Matheson.

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

I married very well.

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

Our lives are kind of insane 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 masters in educational psychology and I thought that would be perfect time to…start a blog!

I started my blog about 3 months ago and it’s been live for 2 months! I focus 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 dumb decisions.

As I write on my blog, deep inside our brains we think we are rational but really, we 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 and show them how to overcome and automate their finances so that they can win with money and not have to spend so much time thinking about it.

I also really love writing about developing a growth mindset, with our finances and in life, and how my wife and I are striving 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.

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

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

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

I had an article featured on Rockstar Finance which was awesome. 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 actually good, ya 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 a lot of people read it. I think 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 have met so many wonderful and supportive people who really want to help me grow in my journey.

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 love how the personal finance readers/bloggers are so encouraging and helpful and it really does feel like a big community, which is so cool.

I can’t wait to connect with more of you through this.

I’ll be sure to get back to you crazy quick! Thanks Mr. CBB for being awesome and giving me a chance 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 go 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 to say.

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 you to teach kids about growth mindset out and put it on your refrigerator, we have! Source: Schoolhouse Divas


quality time language of love meme

I’ve talked on the blog numerous times over the years 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 stand-still 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 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 what seems 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

Every week I get tens of thousands of people visit 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 yet?
  • How to get out of Canada?– That’s funny I thought people were rushing to try and 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.

Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.

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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