We’ll call it a coincidence.
While our website has run an informal poll since November 2018 asking visitors to vote on their preferred method of hospital parking management reform, the provincial government of Quebec chose the second most popular option on the poll and plans to run with it. Having the first two hours free and then a $7 daily cap is obviously far more accommodating than the current exploitative system in place. My question remains; when will BC take action on this file?
Quebec and any other provincial government in the country that is planning similar reforms is on the right track. However I should point out, as evidenced on the hospitalpayparking.ca website, there is an even better way forward. First and foremost the chronic addiction to pay parking revenue must be eradicated. Once the burning need to extract dollars from patients and their supporters has subsided, we can get on with the important work. Hospital parking facilities should be transformed into an exclusive zone that permit only patients, their supporters and of course staff to park on these taxpayer funded parking lots. There should be no payment required for patients and their supporters (visitors, family, etc.) for the duration of their stay. Parking facilities should be safe and secure. The general public should be educated on the new format and welcomed with heavy fines if they park at a hospital while not meeting the exclusivity criteria. A plethora of parking lot management technologies exist to make such a proposal a reality.
The sun is setting on hospital pay parking schemes in countries that operate socialized healthcare. Jurisdictions like Scotland, Wales and now the province of Quebec know this. You listening Minister Dix?