Taking care of or visiting a sick friend or family member is already tough enough.
Coquitlam’s Mayor took to Facebook on Thursday to say he’s disappointed another stressor is being put on the backs of those who frequent hospitals.
Richard Stewart says the rates at Vancouver General Hospital’s lot are some of the most expensive in the Cambie Corridor.
“Only a fraction of that fee actually typically goes to the health region, particularly if service is managed by a private company, that company obviously has staff. There’s a lot of inefficiencies of paid parking coming into play. It doesn’t generate 100% of its revenue.”
Stewart says there are also concerns for those who have mobility challenges, because they’re stuck with the high fees.
During the day, VGH charges $3 for each half hour, or $18.75 for 24-hour parking.
Stewart says he knows families who have gone into thousands of dollars in debt paying for parking so they can visit their sick friend or loved one.
Tasleem Juma, spokeswoman with the Fraser Health Authority, says many hospitals are often in busy areas that don’t have a lot of parking.
“Their spaces are very sought after, and so the parking rates are intended to encourage people to really to be at the hospital to be the ones that use those spaces. That way, our patients and visitors, when they do come to the hospital, actually have access to them.”
Juma says patients who are unable to pay can talk to the hospital’s social worker about financial support or transit vouchers to offset costs.