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Hospital parking fees a hot topic for CBC readers

Categories: Community, Health

A frustrated father left this note for a parking attendant who has been leaving him tickets while he 
visits his three-year-old daughter, diagnosed with cancer, in the hospital. (CBC)

A CBC News story about a father who has racked up about $500 worth of parking tickets after refusing to pay hospital parking fees while visiting his three-year-old daughter diagnosed with terminal cancer has outraged readers on both sides of the debate.

Some seem appalled that hospitals charge parking fees, while others believe the father should simply pay up and avoid the hassle of parking tickets.

Gerard says when his son was hospitalized, and it was unclear whether or not his child would survive, he still paid the hospital's parking fees.

"It never crossed my mind to think that my son's situation somehow gave me free parking," wrote Gerard. "There are many other parents that have been in the same situation and paid their parking. I understand the pain they were going through, but I do not know why this family thought their situation is unique."

Jalara was disappointed with the tone of a note the father left on the car after noticing the latest parking ticket.

The father's note read: "My child is upstairs dying of cancer and all you have to do is write me parking tickets. You must feel some good about yourself."

"Leaving notes on the car is inappropriate and won't change anything," wrote Jalara, noting approaching the hospital's social service department may have led to better results.

Others disagreed that the father's note crossed a politeness line.

"The note he wrote was much more polite than one I woulda wrote," wrote James Grant.

Still, many noted that it's not the parking official's fault because they don't know why the driver has to be at the hospital.

"In all fairness to the ticket writers, how do they know why he keeps leaving his car there?" asked Trish Reid.

Drew Stanford agreed with Reid. He said, "this is not the ticketer's fault, nor is it fair to attempt to make them feel guilty for doing their job."

Some readers sympathized with the father and others in his situation. They offered suggestions on how hospitals can help families during such trying times.

Hospitals could designate a section of their parking lots for cars of family members who spend lots of time at the hospital, suggested Amberla1.

"It seems criminal to me that people have family dying and they have to worry about parking," wrote Jenn Jellema. 

She suggested hospitals should offer one parking pass per bed. "That way, at least one family member's vehicle could park for free, while other family/friends coming to visit would still have to pay."

Many readers shared similar hospital parking stories.

"I had the same unfortunate experience at St Margret's hospital while my brother lie dying in the hospital," wrote Shawn Payne. He says he paid about $28 dollars daily for parking.

For the most part, most people agreed on one thing: the family is going through a stressful time. Many readers expressed their condolences.

"Just hoping his child is doing ok and can fight it," wrote Melissa Conway.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. This is one story that is nothing short of disturbing and heart wrenching. I pray your daughter receives a miracle," wrote Gina.

Do you think hospitals should be charging for parking?

Tags: Community, Community Reaction, Health

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