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Canadians Fighting Against Hospital Parking Fees.

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Newfoundland Cancer Patient Takes Hospital to Court over Parking Fees - Jan 7th

A cancer patient in St. John's has taken his fight over the cost of parking at hospitals to court.

Tom Badcock has filed a statement of claim against Eastern Health, and had his first hearing on Monday morning.

He said the health authority's parking fees break the Canada Health Act, which says there should be no financial barrier to access healthcare.

"They are charging people to see their doctors. For me, it's not a tremendously big issue for me to have to pay five dollars for parking," said Badcock. "But there are a lot of people out there who can't afford to pay $5, $10, $50, that it costs. In Toronto, I believe, it costs $54 a day to park at a hospital. That is absolutely ridiculous."

Badcock refused to pay his parking bill when he went for a medical appointment at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's on Oct.10. Eastern Health officials called the police on the matter. Badcock responded by saying he'd fight the issue in court.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal published an editorial on Nov. 28, 2011, which said that hospital parking fees should be abolished. The CMAJ claimed the fees contradicted the principle of Canada's universal health care system.

Eastern Health's lawyer has argued to have the lawsuit dismissed

The case will be called again in February.

Badcock is representing himself.

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I agree - I had to spend a few nights in emergency with my wife... and I spent about $65 in parking...

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The Health Act is wishy-washy on many levels when it comes to actually being enforced. There are many institutions that charge "user fees" and whatnot still, and it's a complete disgrace. That said, TECHNICALLY speaking, this Jackson character is correct when saying that people/patients have a choice as to parking at the hospital.

However, on a realistic level, it's absolutely ridiculous to expect immobile people needing medical treatment to park 3+ blocks away at free parking (or as you said, take public transit).

The revenue generation, I'm sure though, is completely necessary for hospitals to function properly... especially in a society where the healthcare system is suffering from lack of funding... so this problem isn't so black and white, unfortunately.

I'd be interested to find out how much money is put into just enforcing hospital parking lots...

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I fully support this....took my son to ER in the middle of the night once and forgot to grab my purse (you tend to overlook those things when your child's in distress). Be damned if that didn't create a bit of a problem....luckily, the parking attendant who came on shift in the wee hours heard my plight and let me go out the ambulance exit.

I believe the parkade at RGH is a privately owned structure/property...so I don't even know that the money is channeled back to the hospital...these IMPARK extortionists are just conveniently holding people hostage who do have to go to the hospital. (I cheat and park across the field at Minoru when it's not an ER related visit).

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In a small way, people in Victoria have been fighting back against parking fees for years. There is a tradition of people passing along their unexpired parking tickets to the next guy. So if you pay for a couple of hours but are only there for 30 minutes, someone else might as well use the 90 minutes that's left over.

I once bought a week pass because my father in law was going to be there for a while. When we showed up to visit on day 2, it turned out he had been transferred, so we passed along our ticket to someone else so they could use it for the rest of the week.

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I recently spent 3 days in the hospital for a nasty spat of gastro, two years ago we were in the hospital for 7 days in postpartum/neonatal intensive care unit until discharge with our latest child (far cry from the few days from the previous two).. best way to avoid parking fees? Get a ride. Have your partner pick you up. There's a reason parking fees are implemented.. because the lots would be full and people who actually need to park would have no spaces to do so. Also, how would parking fees remove access to healthcare? That's ridiculous. Often times the case is people with a need to frequent a hospital are given passes. If it's an emergency, parking obviously is not a concern as the patient likely will come in an ambulance.

This is simply complaining just for the hell of it, the case for parking regulation looks more sensible to me.

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In a small way, people in Victoria have been fighting back against parking fees for years. There is a tradition of people passing along their unexpired parking tickets to the next guy. So if you pay for a couple of hours but are only there for 30 minutes, someone else might as well use the 90 minutes that's left over.

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The healthcare system is a mess and needs a complete overhaul. People can argue that it suffers from a lack of funding but correct me if I'm wrong 60% of our provincial budget is spent on healthcare. There is no end to the demand for money spent on healthcare and it's only going to get worse as the baby boomer generation continues to age. We need a system that is sustainable, fair and effective.

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I think there is a big difference between a 'financial barrier' to HealthCare, and having HealthCare services cost money.

One means that you must have X cash available to receive HealthCare, the other is simply a bill you must pay but doesn't affect whether or not you receive HealthCare.

I see the latter happening a lot more often than the former.

For instance, an elderly person would probably prefer not to walk 10 blocks to the hospital (if that is how far away free parking is), they may not even be capable of such a trip. At first, it sure sounds like this person would have to pay X in order to get to the hospital. Here is the kicker, what happens when their car won't start? Or what about those who don't own cars?

Those are the real questions. Not everyone is a driver/vehicle owner. Those people must find their own way to the hospital, therefore anyone who can't pay for parking can be expected to do the same. I do not think drivers are allowed to argue paying for parking is preventing them from accessing the hospital, when non-drivers seem to be able to access the hospital just fine (well its probably a pain, but that would be the first issue to tackle, screw the privileged drivers, they can wait).

I know these parking fees are brutal, but I agree with one of the above posts, the fees keep the lot clear. The last thing you want is a full lot at a hospital, if parking were free then the lot would be full of visitors 100% of the time. This can be tough for regular patients, like those on dialysis, who don't have someone to drop them off, but again, as above, these people can usually get a free parking pass.

If anything, they should expand the free parking pass availability so everyone who really needs one can get one, then raise parking rates even higher to compensate for the lost revenue.

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There are plenty of ways to arrange transport to a hospital.

If you're well enough to drive yourself there, you're well enough to find a spot in the neighbourhood.

If you're not, you won't balk at paying a couple of bucks if you cannot find anyone to drive you.

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There are plenty of ways to arrange transport to a hospital.

If you're well enough to drive yourself there, you're well enough to find a spot in the neighbourhood.

If you're not, you won't balk at paying a couple of bucks if you cannot find anyone to drive you.

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:picard:

The ignorance is astounding.

A imited income retiree friend of my parents has two hips that need replacing, He struggles to walk but he can drive. His car is his only luxury as it affords him mobility outside his home. The orthopedic surgeon he sees on a regular basis while being on the waiting list for surgery is based out of the hospital in another town. Each time he is there requires an average of approx 3 hours for visits to various departments within the hospital. The hospital does not hand out free parking passes,,,,,,,there are reduced parking fees for a sustained stay.....ie: 2/3 days as a PATIENT registered in the hospital, that's it. If he pays someone to drive him there and ponies up money for gas, (like most friends do) he's still out of pocket $$$.

So he should have to take public transit or park blocks away from the parking lot and hobble several blocks on crutches to the entrance? The ignorance radiating from the content of the quoted post is disgusting. Obviously the user posting it has no experience with this sort of situation and no idea of how this affects some people. Nor does it appear that he cares enough to empathize or even find out.

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I guess the question is if charging patients parking fees violates our constitutional right to free health care. Several health department people have said that parking fees aren't covered by the Canada Health Act, but does that matter? A charge is a charge. Right?

The quote i bolded above i find to have been rather hilariously insensitive. To suggest that weak, elderly people getting cancer treatment should hoof it to the hospital on public transit? (Btw, which would also be another fee) Is quite ridiculous. Why not just off 'em right away to open up more parking stalls, if indeed parking is a high priority.

Imo it's good to see some Canadians actually stand up for their rights for once. I hope the newfoundland case goes through.

In the meantime, if funding is an issue, perhaps the provinces should be fighting the feds for larger transfer payments? The federal share of healthcare has been dwindling more and more over the decades.

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Having empathy is irrelevant. We already spend the overwhelming majority of our taxes on healthcare. These costs are only going to rise as the boomers all age.

If this is a problem which taxes that you personally pay are you willing to have raised (dramatically) to cover the shortfall needed to eliminate this problem and the many, many other problems down the pipeline as our tax base shrinks and the demand for services grows?

If you find my response cold I would remind everyone that if we don't figure this out and SOON than the tragic situations everyone gets riled about will become even more tragic and more numerous.

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Free parking is not a right.

Be happy there still is parking. You can look forward to hospitals developing much of that land as a way to pull in desperately needed dollars in the future.

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Well, the bottom line for most people facing this situation is how this affects them, not the dollars and cents the hospital is trying to make off people who have no choice but to be there. And that is what is forgotten in situations like this, the people who have to actually live with such decisions made by some suit in an office who has no idea (and frankly doesn't care) how his/her decision will affect someone in the situation I described... people who must decide whether to forego groceries or skip appointments because such an expense doesn't fit into their budget that month. It's appalling.

Bravo to those fighting this parking fee issue, may you be ultra-successful.

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But free healthcare is. The argument is that charging patients, no matter how they do it, to gain access to healthcare is unconstitutional.

Anyway, it's not like the problem with funding is insurmountable. Heck, they can even upcharge visitor parking to make up for the loss of patient parking income.

But if i'm playing the blame game with regards to funding, it's the feds, who have cut down transfer payments to pennies on the provincial healthcare dollar.

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Well, here's the thing. What if they didn't provide parking AT ALL.
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As someone who works in a hospital and also doesn't get free parking, I agree, free parking for all! :lol:

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