No parking increase at Cumberland regional

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Fee to stay at $2 for this year

While others are raising parking fees to balance the books, the local health authority will maintain the fee at $2 - which goes to fund equipment purchases, not to the bottomline.

While others are raising parking fees to balance the books, the local health authority will maintain the fee at $2 - which goes to fund equipment purchases, not to the bottomline.

AMHERST – There continue to be no plans to raise parking fees at Cumberland County’s regional hospital.

While several other health authorities are raising parking prices at their facilities to balance their budgets, Ann Keddy said the same isn’t planned here.

The Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre is the only facility in the county to charge for parking. The fee has been $2 since the hospital opened in early 2003.

“There are no plans at this time to increase the fee for parking at the regional site,” Keddy said. “That doesn’t mean that could change in future fiscal years, but at this time there are no plans.”

PC health critic Chuck Porter criticized the new Liberal government’s inaction on health reform last week saying it’s leading to more expensive hospital visits for patients and their families.

Last Monday, Annapolis Valley Health announced it would be raising parking fees at all locations from $2 to $3. South Shore Health has also announced a parking fee hike, while other health authorities, including the Colchester-East Hants Health Authority, have also increased parking fees in recent years.

Keddy said the situation is different in Cumberland in that the money raised from the $2 parking fee is used to fund equipment purchases for the hospital. It’s not used to balanced the books.

“That’s a commitment we made to the community when the new hospital opened in 2003. They money we have raised through parking has gone into buying equipment for the hospital,” she said. “If we raised the fee it wouldn’t make a difference in the bottom line because it’s all used for equipment purchases.”

To date, the parking fee has been used to purchase approximately $1.5 million in equipment.

The Cumberland Health Authority took flak from the public when it implemented the fee upon the hospital’s opening. People were upset that the community raised more than $7.5 million to fund the hospital and then had to pay $2 to park there.

The CHA had to come up with $660,000 to balance its budget. In an interview with the Citizen-Record last week, CEO Bruce Quigley said the health authority was not filling some vacant positions and consolidating lab processing services at the regional hospital.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Cumberland, Annapolis Valley Health, Colchester-East Hants Health Authority Citizen-Record

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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  • wingman
    January 26, 2014 - 17:53

    No wonder they don't raise it. Every time you go in and out the same day it costs $2.00 each time.