Will free parking near Surrey Memorial Hospital become free parking at Surrey Memorial Hospital?
The ball is now in the Fraser Health Authority’s court.
On Monday, city council approved free parking, for two hours at a time, on the streets around SMH and at the city hall parkade.
The city operates 103 on-street pay parking spots in the immediate vicinity of SMH while Fraser Health or private companies operate 2,041 off-street parking spaces.
So, Surrey’s part, laudable as it is, is but a drop in the bucket.
It costs $4.25 for the first hour of parking at one of SMH’s 1,790 stalls and $3.50 per additional hour. If you’re parking in one of the Surrey Medical Arts Building lot’s 87 stalls, you’ll pay $3 for the first hour and $2.50 for each additional hour. Parking in one of Surrey Health Sciences lot’s 185 stalls will cost you $2.50 per hour, and SMH has 43 Creekside lot stalls that cost $3.75 for the first hour and $3.25 for each additional hour.
The FHA is raking in good coin through pay parking, on a daily basis. According to the FHA, proceeds from pay parking “help support the purchase” of hospital equipment and services.
Surely there must be a better way to fund health care than shaking down patients who need to be at the hospital, some of them under life-threatening circumstances. It’s not like they’re enjoying a night out at the theatre.
We have a federal government that has provided billions of tax dollars in foreign aid to other countries and yet our hospitals are forced to rely on pay parking to buy equipment and fund health services?
This is shameful.