No more free parking at hospital

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Yarmouth Regional Hospital. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

By Belle Hatfield

The Vanguard



The days of free parking anywhere at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital complex are almost over.

Construction is underway on gating and fencing at all of the free parking areas on the complex, including the Grove Road parking lot.

It is the next phase in the hospital’s parking redevelopment and will also see additional staff parking fees implemented. The parking tolls were introduced in 2002.

Changes in parking were announced last May when prices to park increased from $2 to $3.

South West Health’s director of communications Fraser Mooney said, “In order to more consistently, equitably and safely enforce our parking policy we are converting additional parking areas to gated lots.”

 The changes in Yarmouth are being mirrored in Digby and Shelburne and when fully implemented the district is expecting revenues of around $640,000 annually from paid parking. In the last fiscal year, the district raised $340,000 from parking.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has called for an end to parking fees at health care facilities calling them a user fee in disguise that constitutes a barrier to health care.

For cash-strapped hospitals, however, parking fees are just one way to help them try and balance the books. Since they were first implemented in Yarmouth, the district has come to rely on that revenue. The Vanguard was told last spring it would be unlikely to see a reversal in policy any time soon.

After the renovations are completed, Mooney said the parking area, located on the site of the old nurses residence, would be fenced off. He cited safety concerns for the decision to make that popular spot to park for free out of bounds.

Organizations: Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Grove Road, Digby Shelburne

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Recent comments

  • Ashe
    January 13, 2013 - 09:50

    Because of all this foolishness Yarmouth will be a ghost town soon enough... then who will you suck dry?

  • Tracy
    January 13, 2013 - 09:37

    this is crazy..what happens to the ppl that only need to run in and drop something they are gonna raise the price and have the elderly or ppl with disabilities walk great distances cause with the way the economy is who can afford it..some ppl can barely afford to eat and pay bills and now we have to pay more to go sit in out patients all day or run in and drop off a pee sample..unreal...and they wonder why so many ppl are leaving this beautiful yet dying town...just in it for themselves..just makes me shake my head

  • A. Sherman
    January 11, 2013 - 07:20

    To the powers that be, keep it up. Some day an issue like this will push people over the breaking point. Until then, it's amazing the parking spots that open up with 4x4 and a little creativity......

  • Heather
    January 10, 2013 - 21:53

    This is another money making excuse to take more money from us.Maybe they will start charging for the hand sanitizer,the braclets you get when you have hours upon hours of waiting.I think they better start spending some money finding Doctors that will stay here.They could pay to have two Doctors on call every night.What next? When people start parking on the roads they will stick metors there too to suck more money out.I was there today and everyway to get out was blocked because of the construction.I guess they may as well charge to go up the steps and to take the elevators!! I think we are charged enough,Not everyone can pay the amount,thats why people park so far and walk miles.Maybe they should set up a drive through Tim Hortons and get more money that way somehow.It's bad enough not to have a Doctor,but to pay to sit and wait hours to see someone is an insult.This is about greed,nothing else!

    January 10, 2013 - 16:24


  • Don
    January 09, 2013 - 01:00

    As in so many other instances - more and more lately - I have to ask, "What do the poor do?" And by "the poor" I mean so many, many of us these days, especially in this end of the province. What about the seniors and others on fixed incomes, who just happen to need the services of the hospital most frequently; the unemployed; the disenfranchised; the youth who have "slipped between the cracks" and yes - we should be ashamed to admit this but they do exist in our fair community - the homeless? And although I have nothing personally against anyone with the title of "South West Health’s director of communications" or a similar claim to fame, I have to wonder that, if they were among those groups I mentioned, would they be so quick to declare so blithely, “In order to more consistently, equitably and safely enforce our parking policy we are converting additional parking areas to gated lots.”? Like, what exactly does that mean? Does this sound like political double-speak to anyone else but me? I am trying my best to not post "insulting, discriminatory or inappropriate content" but really, why not just be straight with us and tell us that this is just one more time we simply need to suck it up and... (sorry but I had to agree not to swear).

  • Mr Double Double
    January 08, 2013 - 21:32

    As Shawn stated i will also park at the Irving at the horse and walk up to the hospital.This is totally ridiculous .Yarmouth will be a ghost town soon anyways if it keeps going lie it is .This government has no plan at all to boost this area up Ill be going to Shelburne hospital anyways with the crew at the out patients no flow at all

  • peter stenberg
    January 08, 2013 - 20:54

    What is the rationalization for this idiotic decision? Is this a shopping mall or a commercial site? This is a barrier to patient care and a obstacle to effective patient discharge planning. What a myopic ignorant decision!! Who owns this foolish descision??!!

  • Shawn
    January 08, 2013 - 20:25

    This is just rediculous, another way to take money from people, as if our government isn't doing that enough, I for one, will NOT be putting a penny into parking at the hospital, I will park at Irving, or else where if and walk up the hill, Shaking my damn head, when doe it stop, they keep upping prices and putting prices on things that should be low or free and yet they keep taking away frrom us, what has YArmouth come to? It has come to be the biggest hole in Nova Scotia because of what our government has done, those in "charge" should all be demoted, and have to live in poverty as most of us in yarmouth are now!

  • amanda
    January 08, 2013 - 16:50

    UNREAL..Just another thing to make people pay for..No need there should be free parking as there is at most hospitals..And to put the price up is unfair why should we have to pay for changes we didnt ask for

  • Corinne Laffin
    January 08, 2013 - 10:20

    I would just like to say that over the holidays I had to go t the QE2 a few times to visit a family member and it was nice to see that they had free parking for everyone over the holiday in under ground parking @ that. Something Yarmouth should look @.

    • amanda
      January 08, 2013 - 16:48

      Anything else ya wanna make us pay for..Bad enough we have to go sit there half the day and night to see a doctor and we still have to pay..UNREAL..There should be some free parking..And to put the price of it up to..Why do we have to PAY for you changes and greed..