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

Vernon’s Tolko Industries backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Art contest is open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

Vernon Vipers announce exhibition schedule

Snakes to play 12 games prior to December against Salmon Arm, West Kelowna and Penticton

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Temporary four-way stop added to Vernon intersection

Change at 43rd Ave. and 20th St. is designed to curb increased traffic during construction periods

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1300 for a one-bedroom and $1780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read