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Letters: Keep parking free in hospitals

A Richmond News reader believes parking should be free in hospitals
RichmondHospital4
Richmond Hospital Emergency.

Dear Editor,

The COVID-19 pandemic has come with its own set of challenges at both the personal and community level. One of the significant challenges affecting our publicly funded hospitals is parking fees.

Our provincial government acted, albeit with public pressure, to suspend pay parking at hospitals during the COVID-19 health pandemic for staff, patients and visitors. But the question remains what will they do as we emerge from the health pandemic?

Will pay parking at hospitals remain free, or will they resort to implementing pay parking once again? We need to urge this government to remove pay parking from all publicly funded hospitals throughout our province as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Columbians are attending hospitals for urgent medical concerns. The removal of parking fees and fines will help alleviate the patients’ stress and grief and go a long way in bringing a semblance of peace to their friends and families.

The provincial government must take the extra effort to ensure hospital staff don’t have to deal with parking fees and tickets in the future. They played a crucial role in fighting the pandemic.

Moreover, there are several benefits associated with the removal of the parking fees from publicly funded hospitals in British Columbia.

First of all, it is the best way for our provincial government to show that they are fully committed to helping British Columbians, particularly during a critical health crisis/emergency and when folks are at their most vulnerable.

Secondly, since the health authorities in charge of running the publicly funded hospitals are aligned with the parking companies, removing the fees would deter them from exploiting patients, visitors and hospital staff.

Let’s do the right thing and bring an end to this exploitative practice. Parking fees incur additional hardship on patients or visitors when they are already experiencing anxiety, stress, or grief. Simply put, this is an opportunity for private businesses to benefit from people’s illnesses, and that is just wrong!

Jack Trovato

RICHMOND

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