LETTER: Extend no pay parking at hospital indefinitely

Pay parking at hospitals has become a growing issue of concern

On March 15, 2012 Mission council and Fraser Health Authority entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that “Parking for general public remains free at MMH site for a period of five years,” which will essentially expire on or about March 15, 2018.

Pay parking at hospitals has become a growing issue of concern to patients and their families, and across Canada, advocates have been striving to have hospitals stop pay parking.

So, to imagine any thought may be given to start pay parking at Mission is repugnant and thus efforts to make the public aware of this potential threat have commenced. During the recent municipal election, candidates were not asked their opinion by social media sites nor local media, except by myself.

It follows thus, this dark secret will possibly remain until one Monday morning during March 2018, patients coming into the MMH will find parking signs and meters asking for huge sums of hourly parking fees, should FHA elect to start charging at the conclusion of this MOU, which given the propensity to gouge patients at other hospitals it is unlikely MMH would be spared.

It is my recommendation that council and FHA amend their agreement to prohibit pay parking at MMH indefinitely.  As well, that the Minister of Health agree to seek alternative sources of funds to replace those amassed from pay parking at other hospitals, that all patients and visitors to hospitals be permitted to do so free of charge. Indeed, if Mission Memorial can extend no pay parking for five years, it follows it can indefinitely, and as well, that all hospitals can exercise the same business acumen to not charge parking fees.

Persons ill or visiting ill patients have enough stress and grief on their minds so as to not be exacerbated at this time, to be gouged with exorbitant parking charges.

 

George F. Evens

Mission