Nearly 20,000 violation tickets were issued at Interior Health hospital parking lots for the 2018-19 fiscal year. (File photo)

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

While 19,401 tickets were issued to people for parking violations at Interior Health hospitals last year, only 8,068 (41.6 per cent) were actually paid.

Those figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request for Interior Health documents by Jon Buss of Hospitalpayparking.ca, a non-profit group that opposes what it calls the “exploitative practice” of pay parking at publicly funded hospitals.

“Interior Health does not directly issue parking tickets at these facilities — they are issued by Impark, which is contracted to oversee this service, to ensure that the parking system is fair for all visitors to our sites,” said Craig Paynton, manager of parking services with Interior Health.

“We know that people may be coming to hospitals under challenging circumstances and would encourage anyone who feel they have been ticketed inappropriately to call the number on the ticket to request a review.”

According to the documents, Interior Health’s 2018-19 fiscal year also showed the following in terms of parking violations:5,665 tickets (29.2 per cent) were marked void and waived

5,449 tickets (28.1 per cent) still have an outstanding balance

Interior Health Parking Services towed a total of three staff vehicles (it did not note any visitor vehicles being towed)

The health authority could not provide the total value or revenue of parking tickets distributed stating the “information is not within the control/custody of Interior Health records.”

Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital had the most parking tickets issued at 7,841 (40 per cent)

Kelowna General Hospital was a close second at 7,234 tickets issued (37.3 per cent)

Penticton Regional Hospital had 2,347 tickets issued (12.1 per cent)

Vernon Jubilee Hospital had 1,772 tickets issued (9.1 per cent)

While the revenue generated by paid parking was not released by Interior Health, Paynton said the money directly offsets operational expenses such as security, utilities, snow removal and general maintenance of the lots along with capital improvements.

“If there is genuine financial hardship, hospital social workers will work with the patient and their family to find a solution. Per IH’s paid parking policy, fee exemptions apply to patients and clients with identified extenuating circumstances based on medical or financial hardship and are reviewed on a case by case basis,” he said.

“Free public parking at hospitals runs the risk of people taking up stalls who don’t have business at the hospital.”

According to Hospitalpayparking.ca, in 2018, Interior Health hospitals generated $5.3 million of its $2.2-billion budget through paid parking.

In 2015, that number was $4.1 million, showing a 30 per cent increase.

Across all B.C. health authorities in 2018, paid parking totalled $34.3 million of the total $12.4-billion operating budget.

People with general parking concerns regarding Interior Health facilities can email them to IHParking@interiorhealth.ca.

READ MORE: Hospital pay parking revenue in B.C. topped $36M last fiscal


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sheryl Fremlin celebrating her love for horses this month

‘I really hope they enjoy it and feel some sense of joy’

One year after mill closures 100 Mile House still strong say local leaders

‘One thing this community is very good at is we’re very resilient’

Cedar Ave by hospital closed due to sinkhole

The hole is deep, at least 15 to 20 feet, and running water can be heard from it

Interior Health issues warning of increased overdose activity in Williams Lake area

H has released a number of safety tips and how to respond to an overdose should one occur

Williams Lake RCMP seek assistance locating missing youth

Angel Emile has not been seen since Monday, July 7

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read