If there is one universal issue that irks Ontario hospital patients, it’s hefty parking charges.
In many towns the only “pay” parking is at the hospital. Where there are commercial parking lots in the surrounding area, hospitals routinely charge twice the going rate or more.
This particularly limits those who have mobility issues and would have a hard time walking to the hospital from a nearby commercial lot. Transit is often not a reasonable alternative.
Now a cancer patient in St. John’s, Newfoundland has come up with his own solution – just don’t pay it.
According to CBC News, Tom Babcock refused to pay for parking at that city’s health sciences centre. When the Royal Newfoundland constabulary was called, they said they had no jurisdiction to write him a ticket on private property.
Babcock looks forward to his day in court when he will argue that the charges are a contravention of the Canada Health Act. Eastern Health, which manages the hospital, is refusing to take him there. There is no word on whether they will let him back in the lot.
“It’s patently, morally, ethically wrong to charge people to see their doctors,” Babcock told the CBC. “Especially people who have to be here five days a week paying $8, $10 a day to see their doctor, and they can’t afford it, and that’s wrong.”
Unfortunately for most Ontario hospitals, hospital parking is automated. You could be waiting a long time for that gate to lift by refusing to pay. Unlike Newfoundland, we’ve eliminated most of the jobs in the exit booths of our parking lots.