Hospital Parking Stories

A Post By Guest Blogger and HospitalPayParking.ca Volunteer Kellie Callender

 

One of the key things we can do right now to direct our shared path forward is share a bit about your own experience with hospital parking in B.C. as well as taking the time to write your MLA.  Often if you are like me, you may not always read articles in their entirety, (which is why this paragraph will begin and end this article). you likely will also find yourself moved by an issue but not quite moved enough to take the time to write a short personal email to your local MLA. Lately I have realized that when we have a value that  is not strong enough to move us to action, then we sincerely need to question if it is something we actually care about. In a sense we are actually devaluing our own belief system when we choose not to act; this is a large factor in keeping us from achieving meaningful change as a collective of people with shared values within society. Given the state of the world and the innumerable social issues we will all be facing in the twenty first century, we need to take a stand on this and many other issues. If we choose to put our voices where our values are, together we can make a change.

Being concerned with how our society is run is our prerogative as responsible citizens. The questions that we need to start asking should relate to how we are and how future generations will be treated. It is currently within our reach to make moves towards a society that genuinely cares about and puts its citizens first. A society where the financial question is always in the top three most important factors of the decision-making process is a society that is bound to miss out on critical values that cannot and importantly should not be commodified.  Can we make a shift towards trying to cultivate healthy environments that are designed with empathy and human dignity in mind? Can we shift towards building social spaces that are designed to improve the experiences of human beings as a critical criteria. As a responsible citizen are we allowed to and should we expect more from society. This is not about complaining or about crippling the system with critiquing every small detail. However, It is about taking a real stand about what we choose to value together as we step towards the undefined future.

What will truly enrich our lived experiences? And do we have the imagination and integrity required to facilitate change? The consequences of not taking these choices into our own hands is losing our agency to make demands on the system in which we live and to which we contribute.  Our power lies in numbers. Our power lies in where we spend our money, our time and our thoughts. The power of change lies in what we permit and what we protest, the messages we communicate to those in positions of power and what we passively accept.

Likely you are wondering what all this has to do with pay parking at hospitals. There is even a chance that you are thinking why not take on a possibly more important issue like the unhealthy, unpalatable food that accompanies a hospital visit or the upcoming shortages of nursing staff. But what I wish to convey is that these issues are in fact the same issue. The issue of passive acceptance to changes made for economic or convenience reasoning. We eat hospital food and assume there is someone smarter than us who has made that choice based on creating a problem free system, someone who has counted all the beans and weighed the pros and cons. We assume someone has looked at other models from various cultures and regions of the world and done a comparative study.  The issue is that the more agency we give away, the farther we are from understanding and influencing the decisions being made that directly affect our social experience. It also means that we become further dissociated with the “why’s” of the systems we live in. Like why do hospitals serve white bread, pudding, over-processed meal replacement shakes, and Jello. Or why aren’t there greater tuition reductions for those currently enrolled in and entering university nursing programs.

Currently we are living in a time where we have made astronomical advancements in technology, production, resource extraction and globalization. Some of which have led to great improvements in how we go about our day-to-day lives. However when it comes to creating environments, regulations and lifestyles that are fulfilling and holistic we have not taken the time to figure out how we can catch up or go back and rewrite parts of the script. Currently the pay parking system at hospitals is leading to visitors having to be constantly thinking about how much time they have left and whether or not it is a good time to go refill the meter and whether they will receive a fine for being late. I would like to ask you which scenario is more appealing. Scenario one, we pay for parking, worry about getting tickets, the hospital pays a flat rate to a for-profit company to monitor and maintain the parking lot, that company receives all funds from fines given, which incentivizes them to give more fines.   Or scenario two, the parking lot is managed and maintained by a local nonprofit or the hospital itself, there are optional fees for parking, those fees go directly to the hospital, people who are struggling financially or who are stressed out or in a hurry can simply skip paying for parking and the stress involved with worrying about getting a fine. These are the types of choices we have, and if we care about how our system is designed then it is up to us to act.

One of the key things we can do right now to direct our shared path forward is share a bit about your own experience with hospital parking in B.C. as well as taking the time to write your MLA.  Often if you are like me, you may not always read articles in their entirety, (which is why this paragraph will begin and end this article). you likely will also find yourself moved by an issue but not quite moved enough to take the time to write a short personal email to your local MLA. Lately i have realized that when we have a value that  is not strong enough to move us to action, then we sincerely need to question if it is something we actually care about. In a sense we are actually devaluing our own belief system when we choose not to act; this is a large factor in keeping us from achieving meaningful change as a collective of people with shared values within society. Given the state of the world and the innumerable social issues we will all be facing in the twenty first century, we need to take a stand on this and many other issues. If we choose to put our voices where our values are, together we can make a change.

Please add your story and thoughts below, and remember that this forum is about recognizing a problem and exploring potential solutions. Please put forward your thoughts constructively and kindly, we are on the same team.

Hospital Parking Stories

2 thoughts on “Hospital Parking Stories

  • April 1, 2019 at 10:48 am
    Permalink

    Umm, Kellie, the administration at the hospital is responsible for all the parking issues.

    Reply
    • April 24, 2019 at 1:43 am
      Permalink

      Perhaps i was misinformed, could you elaborate on that? My understanding was that the administration at the hospital contracts out aspects of that responsibility to companies like Robbins Parking.

      Reply

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