As a former member of a team working to clarify terms for hospitals under the health accord for the province of Ontario I was struck by the non medical items such as lawn mowers, plush carpets exotic plants and rare wood desks for staff proposed for hospitals under the plan.
The other side pointed out that every dollar spent on these items took away from direct medical staff and equipment. Those who advocate for free parking at the new hospital forget that a massive parking structure is part of the new hospital complex and must be paid for.
This past year, I have spent much time in our present hospital visiting a patient who was a close personal friend and time in the Nanaimo hospital for a family member. In our hospital, I often found it difficult to find a parking spot while in the Nanaimo hospital it was fairly simple to park close to the building.
Here we have free parking while there we paid a small fee to park. I noticed that in both cases there was plenty of off-site parking for those in our case who couldn’t find parking and those there who didn’t want to pay.
As a former chair of our hospital foundation involved in fundraising and interacting with other levels of government to provide staff and expensive equipment for our hospital, I would much rather see our fundraising efforts go to direct health care needs and not to providing free parking in a covered parking structure for those who can afford it especially when there is an off site option as is the case now here with limited parking spaces.