Patients at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are complaining parking has become too expensive lately, with the unavailability of monthly parking passes for the parkade.
But Alberta Health Services said it has come up with a solution and regrets the problem that was caused by parkade staffing issues.
Bev Martin, whose 75-year-old husband Don receives dialysis three times a week, said they tried for three weeks to get a $57 monthly pass, but the main floor parkade office was always closed.
When they did find someone to talk to, they were told to buy a $37 weekly pass and that they would get a refund when they bought their monthly pass.
Weekly passes are available at automatic ticket stations at the hospital.
“But they’re never open, so you can’t get a refund. They’re happy if you just keep buying the weekly pass,” Bev Martin said.
“We’ve got this big parkade, but you can’t get the monthly pass. It’s just plum crazy. Doesn’t make any sense.”
She said previously, they were able to get monthly passes, but the parkade office was frequently closed, so they had to make several trips to purchase them.
According to her husband, other dialysis patients are also complaining.
“(Dialysis) has been an exhausting process without this on top of it,” said his wife.
Alberta Health Services said it was sorry to hear about the couple’s experience and has apologized and arranged for them to get monthly passes.
“In the last month, we’ve had staffing issues at the Red Deer parkade. We are in the process of hiring new staff and anticipate having the parkade fully staffed, once again, by early November,” AHS said.
“Until we are fully staffed, we’ve made arrangements to accommodate Red Deer patients and visitors who want to purchase monthly passes. We’ve forwarded the ParkingCentral@ahs.ca email to other parking staff, and Red Deer residents can call AHS provincial parking at 1-855-535-1100 to co-ordinate purchase times.”
AHS is in the process of posting the new parkade office weekly hours at the parking office.