General · 17th October 2016
I want to tell you what’s bothering me.
When you are injured, when you are ill, when you are suffering and in pain – you need help. You need someone to care. You need compassion, empathy, and a shoulder to lean on and rely on.
What you don’t need is someone’s hand in your pocket.
“Thank you for being sick and injured today, sir, ma'am… will you be staying for one hour or would you like to purchase a day pass?”
Many who attend the hospital for emergency health services are faced with long wait times. How can they possibly know how long they will be there for? Is it fair to keep sending them out to update their parking? And what if they can’t? Do they lose their vehicles? Those who visit it loved ones should not have to pay to see their family. Those who are sick, ill, and injured should not be fleeced for hard erned coin. It’s a back door tax that is not socially responsible.
People have no other choice but to attend the hospital when in a time of health need – to capitalize on their suffering is not moral, defies the ethical principles of social healthcare, and is unconscionable.
It’s borderline profiteering from pain.
We need to put people back at the center of our health care policies. Get the corporate and government hands out of their pockets and build a government that has a capacity to care.
Now, the nay sayers will retort, “Mr. Casavant, how do you propose we pay for parking lot maintenance and other services – don’t you think we need to offset government costs?”
Yeah, they missed it. Those who drive to the hospital are reducing the load on B.C. Ambulance services. Those who drive are being socially responsible, keeping our ambulances free for other emergencies, and reducing the overall costs to the tax payer. If we establish parking fees that are not socially accepted it can be argued that individuals might simply call for an ambulance service instead of driving or seeking a ride from friends and family. The potential unintended consequence of hospital parking fees is a massive increase in medical transportation costs to the tax payer.
We should be supporting people who want to drive themselves to medical centers, providing free parking, and educating the public on the costs of emergency medical transportation.
Stop profiting from pain – but people first. Tax disguised as service fees is still a tax.
Bryce Casavant is a former B.C. conservation officer who made international headlines for refusing to kill two orphaned bear cubs last year. He currently works for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and is seeking the NDP nomination for Courtenay/Comox.
Comment by Gloria on 20th October 2016
I couldn't agree more. Thank you for stating this so well!