Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hospital parking

Yesterday I went to another hospital - not as a patient. I was there to staff a table at a community wellness day. It was full of all sorts of free screenings - PSA, skin, thyroid, cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiac monitoring, balance testing (I passed that one) and many more. It was a nice event and I thought it was productive - meaning it created more follow up work for me. (Even though they had a continuous loop going from a camera from a colonoscopy - thank GOD I was not right across from that!)

One of the big patient peeves where I am treated are the parking fees for the garage. They are $2 for the first hour, $5 for up to 3 hours, and then $8 for 3-24 hours. The goal is always get in and out in less than an hour. Everyone complains about the parking fees because it used to be free before there was a garage and only a giant lot where you had to walk for miles to get back to the main entrance.

But at this other hospital, where half their parking is in a lot along side of the highway out in the suburbs (read 'giant snow filled parking lot in the winter where you have to figure out which bump is your car and then dig it out before driving home'), has higher parking fees. The list started at 0–½ hour - free, ½–1 hour: $4, 1–2 hours: $6, 2–3 hours: $7, and 3–24 hours: $8

Your basic doctor appointment is going to last an hour-ish by the time that you get in and out and sit around the waiting room, so unless you are lucky enough to get in and out in 30 minutes (doubtful), you are probably going to pay $6 for the privilege of parking. If you want to go to a fancy hospital in Boston, parking is more. $8 for the first hour - ow! 

I for one don't mind the parking fees. Its expected these days to have to pay to park anywhere close to where you want to be. I still live in a town without parking meters up and down the main road but I am sure this will change. We have stupid parking lots with those little machines we love to hate - put in quarters only for a little slip of paper you need to walk back to your car to put on the dash board. Half the time they are broken so you have to leave a little not for the parking ticket man so he doesn't leave you a ticket.

Really I am just not a huge fan of hospital parking. I spend entirely too much time in the parking garage at the hospital anyway. I am down to only  a couple of appointments each month right now but still its too many.

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