Pay parking at the new Cowichan District Hospital is a bad idea, readers say. (Citizen file)

Pay parking at the new Cowichan District Hospital is a bad idea, readers say. (Citizen file)

Your view: To pay or not to pay? Easy question when it comes to hospital parking

Why add more stress to those who are not in good health? That’s what Laurel Anne Miller and the majority of our readers think about the idea of pay parking at the new Cowichan District Hospital.

The Citizen ran a story recently about North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring wanting free public parking at the new CDH, slated to be finished construction by 2024.

“A hospital is a place where people go because they are sick, and they should not have to pay for parking there,” Siebring said.

There were roughly 100 respondents when we posted the story to the Citizen’s Facebook page and most — but not all — agreed with the mayor.

“Please do keep it free. When parking is paid for, it creates even more stress in a very stressful time,” wrote Bernice Noga.

Cassie Marie Eng said, “Patients and those visiting loved ones there are already stressed as it is they don’t need parking fees on top of that. The key to healing is being able to relax and we should be helping towards that cause not against it.”

And for some, it means the ability to visit their loved ones at all.

“Free parking was a godsend during my husband’s final illness,” Beth Anne noted. “With all the other extra expenses, it was a blessing not to have to worry about whether I’d be able to afford to visit him.”

No one should have to worry about plugging the metre with their family member is dying, wrote Howie Jim.

“I saw on the news once before, in Victoria, a lady was sitting with her dying dad and she had to go down to pay the metre and went back up to find her dad died already by the time she got back up so she wasn’t able to be by her dad’s side before he passed,” Jim wrote.

Not surprisingly, most of our readers agree.

“Everyone feels that way,” said Brenda Smyth.

Well, not quite everyone.

“I like free stuff too…but it’s fake free…nothing is free,” commented Jane Avis.

Barb Landygo was also part of the minority.

“I’m okay with paid parking as long as it’s reasonable and funds go to the CDH,” she wrote.

Nancy Fee saw things from a different perspective: “I think parking should be free for outpatients, cancer patients, kidney dialysis etc.Visitors should pay to help offset some costs of the new facility,” she wrote.

Another respondent had a different idea, too.

“Charge everyone, $1. At the end of every month give all the dough to one of the nurses. With out them we are all F’d,” wrote Collin Skelly.