As if nickel-and-diming students with fees wasn’t enough, the University is now shaking down hospital patients.
Last week, The Daily Tar Heel published a story about the undue financial burden that parking fees place on cancer patients at UNC Hospitals.
As students, we know that parking on campus isn’t cheap, so most of us try to avoid it altogether by walking or taking a bus instead.
But patients at UNC Hospitals don’t have the same freedom — not driving to the hospital to receive treatment isn’t really an option. And for cancer patients, many of whom must park several times per week for treatments that last several hours, these expenses can really add up.
Haven’t cancer patients and their families endured enough already? The toll that cancer takes on patients and their families is already huge — financially and emotionally. Adding yet another stressor to their lives is cruel and wholly unnecessary.
Parking fees have proven to be quite lucrative for UNC, though. The DTH reported that in the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Dogwood Parking Deck — one of two primary parking areas for hospital patients and visitors — alone generated $3.7 million in revenue.
But this money doesn’t even go to UNC Hospitals. If it did, theoretically, this money could be put toward hospital equipment or financial assistance programs for low-income patients. However, UNC owns all parking lots and decks on campus. This means that the University, not UNC Hospitals, receives all revenue generated from parking fees.
Despite the steady flow of cash already trickling into the University’s pocket, UNC never seems to be satisfied. Just this year, a new parking policy was implemented that put an end to free parking on weeknights.
This is a whole new level of wrong. The University ought to stop treating cancer patients as a source of revenue.