Eliminate Hospital Parking Fee

 

The current sitting NDP government proposed  to eliminate hospital parking fee. I will work hard to remind the NDP government make good on their promise. Access to health care should not be limited; “Pay Parking” at hospitals restricts access to health care. 

The Issue:

A user-fee is a financial barrier that exists between health care needs and rights to access health care at a BC hospital. This is a violation of the Canada Health Act. This exploitative money-making scheme creates unnecessary stress and anxiety for hospital patients and their supporters. 

Like many British Columbians, I am supportive of the great efforts that go into our health care system and I am empathetic to the challenge of meeting the ever increasing costs associated with maintaining these services. 

There is a social contract between Canadians and their Government with respect to health care delivery. User fees are a trait of private health care and do not belong in our province’s taxpayer funded hospitals. “Pay Parking” at hospitals restricts access to health care.

 “Nobody really wants to go to a hospital”. “Nobody chooses to get sick”.  It’s simply not fair to expect patients or visitors to have to pay when they come to hospital for a medical emergency.

 

The Solution:

  • Free hospital parking for everyone might do more harm than good. Our tax dollars should not be spent building parking facilities beyond the calculated needs of the hospitals capacity to serve the public. There needs to be a mechanism in place to ensure hospital parking lots remain exclusive to those who use the hospital; patients, their supporters and staff.
  • Using license plate recognition (LPR) Technology is used by municipal bylaw enforcement officers and is capable of determining if individual vehicles are included in a database that is updated in real time. The combining of existing rigid hospital admission procedures and regular foot patrols using LPR technology will identify vehicles not associated with staff, hospital patients and their supporters. By discriminating between those who have genuine reason to be at the hospital and everyone else, an exclusive parking environment can be maintained.
  • Offer visitors additional parking time for a fee: For those who visit a hospital to support a patient, free parking could be offered for only a limited time. Free for a fixed amount of time and then a nominal fee for additional time. Capping the amount of free parking time for supporters, visitation of hospital patients is an important part of the healing process.