More can be done about hospital parking

Fraser Health has not come up with one solution, says reader

Editor, The News:

Last week, after hearing my friend,  who lives in Pitt Meadows, I decided to test the health authority’s statements regarding paid parking at hospitals.

The health authorities have stated they have the ability to wave parking fees under certain circumstances.

So on behalf of my friend, who’s daughter had been admitted to Vancouver General Hospital because of throwing up blood and put under an induced coma for more than five weeks, I felt this single mother of two could use some assistance.

The mom has taken time off from work so she could be with her daughter, which is understandable.

There is also the cost of travelling daily from Pitt Meadows to VGH, which was charging her $68 a week for parking.

She was never told of the $117-a-month parking lot.

When I called to VGH, I spoke with the manager of parking and explained the circumstances to him.

He agreed with me that something needed to be done in this case – “waiving the parking fees.”

However, due to rules, he needed something from the social worker on the ward and then he would look after the situation.

My friend was contacted and she approached the social worker, only to be told that she wouldn’t be getting any assistance.

I had asked my friend if she was given any reason for the denial and she stated, no.

So here is a lady whose child was at the time in a coma, she’s off work, has asked for some consideration and is denied.

This social worker should be dismissed for her lack of compassion in this case.

Since December 2012, I have been advocating that we have free parking at the hospital in Maple Ridge.

Fraser Health has not come up with one viable solution.

I have suggested alternate ways for their compensation in lieu of paid parking.

Local municipal lawyers have stated a bylaw can be adopted, but since there is a change in finances to Fraser Health, the minister of health would have to approve this.

A viable option was suggested and still nothing has happened after eight months.

Fraser Health continues to benefit from unfortunate sick people, family and friends, for shame.

Rus Curnew

Maple Ridge