Why hospitals shouldn’t charge for parking

The CBC recently published an article about how charging for parking at hospitals is effectively a tax on the poor and the sick. I was glad to see this, given my recent experiences with having a sick family member at a hospital. Instead of paying $5 a pop for parking during my daily visits I used free two hour parking nearby. By the time I was done with the walk I had about an hour and a quarter for my visits, which meant that I spent a lot less time with my sick family member than if I’d been willing to fork out the parking money. They didn’t mind but it bothered me that people had to pay for parking, some of them who would be there once or twice a day either for visiting family members or because they themselves needed to go to appointments, and that some of them probably couldn’t afford it.

I am living in Washington, D.C. and commented to some coworkers a couple of months ago about how I find it offensive to charge sick people to pay for parking at hospitals and they commented that this was such a Canadian view. I am glad to see that the CBC and Canadian researchers have noticed the same problem that I have. It seems minor but every little fee you charge on health and hospitals is another bit of stress for people who probably have more than enough of it in their lives.

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