How many of us have had to deal with a patient or a family member who complains of the cost of parking at our hospitals? I know I have MANY, MANY times. I certainly don’t blame them. These people are often at their most vulnerable, fighting acute illness or worse yet a chronic illness. What if they are required to come for IV Antibiotics on a daily basis? or Dialysis bi-weekly? It can add up quickly. Factor in that hospital parking is almost certainly privatized in some capacity and the rates are often inflated beyond typical costs in comparison to other lots in the community.
We are losing potential volunteers who cannot afford to volunteer. Visitors cannot afford to visit. Patients are missing appointments. Where is the compassion? The hospital is not a destination of choice like going to the movies or the spa for a day, (although most theatres and spas offer free parking) the hospital is a place you do not CHOOSE to go to, rather a place you must go and often at the worst moments of your life. Why must we compile the stress and anxiety by charging for parking? Are the profits being made on the backs of the sick and weak?
Dr. Bob Winston a cancer specialist thinks so and says this in a recent CBC interview:
And be sure to watch the Marketplace documentary ‘Hospital Parking Pain’ Where Erica Johnson investigates the costs of parking at hospitals in Canada and find who’s really making money off those lots.
Do high hospital parking rates keep you from your appointments? Should we pay for hospital parking at all?