LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS1130) – It’s a small amount of money in health authority budgets, but it’s a big deal for some people who don’t like having to pay; the New Democrats want to revisit the policy on parking at Lower Mainland hospitals.

Adrian Dix is not guaranteeing a change if elected, but the NDP leader wants a review.

Roy Thorpe-Dorward at Fraser Health says the amount collected is only a very small portion of the health authority’s budget, but it’s still millions of dollars each year for health care. “Currently, we rely on that money to cover the cost of providing parking and also for some general health care revenues.”

“The other thing I would note is that paid parking at hospital sites also helps us to encourage stall rotation,” he adds.

Thorpe-Dorward points out there are measures in place to help people for whom the cost creates hardship.

“Hospitals take a very reasonable approach to parking services. There are hardship and compassionate waivers that are in place. If someone is paying for parking and it is causing a true economic hardship, they should approach the program that they are receiving services from.”

Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health receive a total of $19 million from parking fees.