BC Hospitals Will No Longer Be Offering Free Parking

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Hospitals across the province will soon be reverting back to paid parking at their facilities.

The B.C. Ministry of Health announced this week that parking will no longer be free at hospitals and other B.C. health authority sites.

The parking fees were removed at the start of the pandemic, in April 2020. However, the charges will be returning as of March 4, 2022.

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When the parking fees were initially removed, it was to provide some relief to the public. However, it unfortunately led to people using the parking for other reasons not related to healthcare.

Adrian Dix, Minster of Health, said of the change, “non-hospital users are taking advantage of the situation to park for free while conducting business that’s not hospital-related. These hospital parking spots must be available for those who need them most.”

Free parking will still be available for patients that are:

  • undergoing dialysis
  • undergoing cancer treatments
  • in acute-care programs
  • parents or caregivers of children staying overnight

Volunteers will also still be able to park for free. Otherwise, financial hardship provisions will be handled on a case-by-case basis by health authorities.

Since April 2020, approximately $78 million in parking costs have been waived.

Some people are not pleased that hospital parking will no longer be free. While some believe that hospitals should always offer free parking, others mention the hassle involved.

Michael Sandler, CEO of the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners Association of British Columbia, says, “It’s just one more thing you have to manage on your way…it can be a little bit frustrating, for sure.”

The province may be looking at ways to make the pay-parking more accessible and modern, possibly with touch-free payment options and apps for convenience.

 

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