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Pay parking reinstated at B.C. hospitals

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:10 PST, Fri January 21, 2022

Pay parking will be reinstated at Richmond Hospital and other B.C. health authority sites on March 4.

"Maintaining across-the-board free hospital parking is making it hard for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors to find a spot, as non-hospital users are taking advantage of the situation to park for free while conducting business that's not hospital related," said Health Minister Adrian Dix. "These hospital parking spots must be available for those who need them most."

In all, $78 million in parking fees have been waived since April 1, 2020, when pay parking was suspended. 

Free parking at provincial health-care facilities will continue for patients receiving dialysis treatment or undergoing cancer treatment in acute care programs, and for parents or caregivers of children staying in the hospital overnight. Volunteers will still be able to park for free, and financial hardship provisions will continue to be managed on a case-by-case basis by health authorities.

Parking rates have been frozen for more than four years, and this freeze will continue.

Meanwhile, pay parking stations are also being modernized to make greater use of technology so patients and visitors can manage their parking without returning to their vehicles or using a meter. Health authorities are introducing touch-free payment options and apps to make the process safer and convenient.

For people without a smartphone or who choose not to use an app, additional parking terminals have been installed in common areas of some acute-care hospitals and other locations so parking can be managed without returning to a vehicle.

Health authorities will continue using methods that were already in place to allow free parking such as dash passes, e-coupons or reimbursement.

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