Fraser Health Authority has raked in $105,680,008 in pay parking at hospitals since 2011

Fraser Health Authority has raked in $105,680,008 in pay parking at hospitals since 2011

Surrey Memorial Hospital is the authority’s most significant cash cow when it comes to pay parking

Pay parking is a multi-million dollar gig at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Between April 1, 2017 and March 31 of this year, the Fraser Health Authority raked in $4,546,000 in pay parking revenue at Surrey Memorial Hospital. And from April 1, 2018 to Oct. 18, it took in $2,487,000.

Since 2011, pay parking at SMH has generated a whopping $31,370,000 and at all the FHA hospitals combined — wait for it —$105,680,008.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said the city will ask the FHA to remove pay parking at SMH in line with its decision to make parking free on neighbouring city streets. Last Monday night council ratified its campaign promise to remove pay-parking on the streets immediately outside the hospital and implement free two-hour parking.

“We’re going to try to convince them,” the mayor said after the Nov. 19 council meeting. “The parkade is the regional health board’s land and we will talk to them and try to convince them to provide free parking also. But ultimately that’s up to them to decide whether they will or not.”

Jacqueline Blackwell, public affairs consultant for the FHA, told the Now-Leader on Friday the authority has not yet been approached with such a request. “We have not been contacted by the City of Surrey,” she said.

Surrey Memorial Hospital is the authority’s most significant cash cow when it comes to on-site pay parking. But millions of dollars are piling in from other hospital’s in this region, too. By comparison, between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, Abbotsford Regional Hospital took in $2,215,000 in pay-parking revenue, Royal Columbian Hospital took in $1,983,000, Burnaby Hospital, $1,466,000, Surrey’s Pattison Outpatient Centre, $1,290,000, Langley Memorial, $893,000, Ridge Meadows Hospital, $816,000, Chilliwack General Hospital, $372,000 and Peace Arch Hospital, $140,000.

The City of Surrey operated 103 on-street pay parking spots in the immediate vicinity of SMH while Fraser Health or private companies operate 2,041 off-street parking spaces. It costs $4.25 for the first hour of parking at one of SMH’s 1,790 stalls and $3.50 per additional hour. If you’re parking in one of the Surrey Medical Arts Building lot’s 87 stalls, you’ll pay $3 for the first hour and $2.50 for each additional hour. Parking in one of Surrey Health Sciences lot’s 185 stalls will cost you $2.50 per hour, and SMH has 43 Creekside lot stall that cost $3.75 for the first hour ad $3.25 for each additional hour.

“Surrey Memorial Hospital has the highest parking revenue for a number of reasons,” Blackwell said. “As one of our main regional centres, it has the most parking stalls available through three parkades and a number of surface lots. In addition, the parking revenue totals also include revenue from peripheral sites that make up the broader campus, such as the Shirley Dean Pavilion, Charles Barham Pavilion, and Laurel Place.”

OUR VIEW: Fraser Health should park the Surrey Memorial Hospital Parking fees

READ ALSO: Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

READ ALSO: McCallum says no more pay parking at Surrey city hall, near hospital if he’s elected mayor

READ ALSO: Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

READ ALSO: Surrey’s free hospital parking won’t catch on elsewhere

READ ALSO: City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

LETTER: Patients, families should get free parking at Surrey Hospital

Meantime, Blackwell outlined some reasons why pay parking is in place at SMH. Besides, of course, the significant cash it brings in.

“As our hospitals are often centrally located, their parking spaces are very sought after. Paid parking at hospitals discourages customers and employees of surrounding businesses from parking at our sites, so these stalls are available for patients and their families,” she explained. “Parking rates also encourage stall rotation to ensure patients have access to parking at all times.”

She said money generated from parking fees covers “operating costs to provide safe parking, such as lighting, security patrols and repaving” and “any additional funds are reinvested into health care programs and services.”

Prior to the election, McCallum told the Now-Leader his Safe Surrey Coalition’s reasoning behind the move to free parking at the hospital. “When you go there you’re under stress or tension because you’re going to visit loved ones or members of your family that is sick and the last thing you need to do is to reach into your pocket and try to find some money to do a parking metre,” he said.

Blackwell said Fraser Health appreciates “that some people may struggle to pay for parking, especially when they are dealing with long-term illness.

“For this reason, we have a hardship process to waive fees where it poses a genuine challenge to patients and families,” she said. “Most sites have a variety of pay options to accommodate different types of patient visits, including daily, weekly and extended stay rates as well as subsidized rates for those with financial need.

“In addition, parking vouchers or fee waivers are often made available through the relevant medical program for patients who must make frequent trips to hospitals and clinics, such as hemodialysis and chemotherapy patients.”

Blackwell said parking revenue has increased over the past several years for a number of reasons. “During that time, we have opened new pay parking facilities, such as the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, the Surrey Hospital critical care tower, and the Surrey Memorial Hospital north parkade.

“We have also expanded the surface lot parking at many of our existing hospitals, such as Burnaby, Eagle Ridge, Ridge Meadows, Surrey Memorial, Peace Arch, Langley Memorial, Abbotsford Regional and Chilliwack General,” she said, “to keep pace with the escalating parking demand.

— with files by Amy Reid



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

pay parkingSMH Surrey hospital pay parking McCallum FHA

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

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

File
TNRD to test emergency alert app

The Voyent Alert! emergency notification will be sent April 23.

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read