Hospital parking fees are taxing the sick
ACTION to ease the $100 million a year Aussie families are paying on hospital parking fees is on the way with the peak body representing the nation’s parking companies convening meetings in every state to thrash out a solution.
The move comes in response to News Corp’s hospital parking campaign sparked by 13 year old Gidon Goodman’s Change.org petition on the issue that has received over 66,000 responses.
Starting next week Parking Australia will hold meetings in every state to talk to the Cancer Council, the Chronic Illness Alliance, hospitals, parking operators and other stakeholders to come up with ways to ease hospital parking pain.
Parking Australia CEO Lorraine Duffy says it’s usually hospitals that set the parking fees and the money raised helps fund health services.
She wants to develop a code of practice for hospital parking that will see any parking concessions clearly communicated, provide patients with information on how to apply for parking concessions and where they can complain.
If their medical appointments run over time they will be able to make a case to have a parking fine waived under the code, she says.
News Corp is calling for a national hospital parking safety net that would limit parking fees to $10 a day and $30 a week and pensioners should be able to park for free.
Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper says parking at Victorian cancer treatment centres is consistently identified as a significant issue for cancer patients, their families and carers.
“Cancer Council Victoria would like to see concessions provided to reduce the burden on vulnerable patients, in particular those who frequently attend hospital,” he said.
“We would like to see a co-ordinated approach by parking providers and better quality information for patients and their families ahead of their first visit, particularly about where they can access affordable parking, where there are drop-off zones and waiting periods for car parking. Addressing parking problems will benefit patients, their families and medical professionals responsible for delivering patient care.”
Gidon Goodman started his change.org petition after calculating his parents had spent over $10,000 on hospital parking fees while he had treatment for a rare chronic illness. He currently has over 69,000 signatures in support of his campaign and he is aiming to reach 75,000.
Perth teen Nathan Garcia who was born with half a heart is also running a petition after his mum got a $1,000 parking fine when he was raced to emergency last month.
The fee was eventually waived after a public outcry.
Nathan Elvery the Campaigns Director of Change.org Australia says it has taken this brave teenager to speak up on this issue to rally Australians.
“Thousands are signing his petition for state politicians to act so that patients don’t have to choose between health and debt. Online tools like Change.org give a voice to those who’d often be overlooked, but a story like Gidon’s is impossible to ignore,” he said.
Read the original article from News.com.au here.
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