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Kelowna  

KGH parking confusion

There appears to be some confusion over the scope of parking changes at Kelowna General Hospital.

Interior Health introduced the changes, which came into effect today, to "reduce congestion and improve the overall parking experience" at the hospital.

An email from a concerned rehab patient indicated frustration over the elimination of the pay parking lot for patients and visitors behind the rehab unit.

Lorne Ernewin, who says he has COPD, uses oxygen and can't walk far, goes to rehab twice a week for exercise. He is afraid he, and others like him, may stop going with nowhere close to park.

Interior Health communications spokesman Patrick Gall says that is not the case.

"I've heard a couple of people say they are pretty upset about this, and we're scratching our heads wondering where that assumption came from," said Gall. "I understand patients' concerns if that was to happen, but thankfully, it is not the case. We recognize patients need access right away. Preferred parking for them is crucial."

He says there have been issues with staff using that lot, so adjustments were made to enforce that.

"But, the client and patient parking in that location hasn't changed and won't change."

The parking changes include:

  • A new hospital-wide parking payment system will be installed to offer further convenience to patients and visitors using the public parking areas. 
  • All levels of the Clinical Academic Campus parkade will now be dedicated to public parking.
  • The Rose Avenue surface parking lot, which was previously dedicated to public parking, will now be reserved for staff member and physician parking only.
  • The northwest corner lot on Abbott Street and Strathcona Avenue will be dedicated to staff pass-holders. Public parking directly in-front of the building will still be available.
  • Carpool stalls for staff members will be relocated to the first level of the west parkade.

Interior Health says the number of stalls available for patients, visitors and staff has not changed.

Change are also being made to the payment system, as the hospital transitions from a pay-by-stall system to a pay-by-plate system. Additional pay stations will be available inside the Centennial lobby, the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre and in Emergency.



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