Free healthcare is a pillar of our superiority over the United States.
This is, of course, just one of several reasons it is such a great concept.
But can our healthcare really be considered free if it costs more than minimum wage to park at the hospital? I would argue that no, it cannot be considered free. In fact, I’d consider it a damn shame.
Well, at least one province is fighting this injustice. Yesterday, Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann announced a measure that will allow hospital visitors to park free for the first two hours. Daily rates will be capped at around $7 to $10. In Montreal, it’s not uncommon for hospital parking to exceed $20 in just a few hours.
It should be noted that in many cased parking fees contribute to a worthy cause. Namely, hospital foundations, which finance new medical equipment and cover other expenses. But should patients and their loved ones foot the bill through such a peculiar, roundabout scheme?
McCann believes her government should provide funding and is currently finessing a budget that will compensate foundations with up to $150 million a year. Yes, this is taxpayer money – you didn’t think healthcare was actually free, did you? – but at least it’s an equitable solution. No one chooses to park at the hospital.