Campbelltown Hospital parking prices condemned

Picture: Simon Bennett

Picture: Simon Bennett

New parking prices for Campbelltown Hospital circulated on social media this week leaving Macarthur MP Dr Mike Freelander - and many residents - flabbergasted.

Campbelltown Hospital is currently undergoing a major upgrade.

The new paid parking area was built alongside upgrades to the main hospital.

Dr Freelander said the recent unveiling of parking rates at Campbelltown Hospital was "disgraceful" and "insulting to patients, their families and staff".

He has called on the Berejiklian Government to reverse this decision.

"This is just another way for the NSW Liberal Government to take more money out of the pockets of hardworking staff at Campbelltown Hospital as well as the patients and their families utilising this critical institution," Dr Freelander said.

"This hospital is poorly served by public transport and parking spaces are only ever used by those needing to visit the hospital; there is no need for paid parking here whatsoever."

To park at the new parking area residents will be forking out $6.80 for 45 minutes, $10.10 for one to two hours, $13.50 for two to three hours - right up to the daily maximum of $20.20.

However the first 15 minutes of parking will be free.

A Campbelltown Hospital spokesman said revenue raised through car parking fees would be invested in maintenance, capital improvements and facilities at the Local Health District level, and was in line with NSW Health policies and guidelines.

"Concessional car parking fees will be available for eligible patients, carers and visitors, with savings of up to $200 a week," he said.

"As part of the $632 million stage two redevelopment of Campbelltown Hospital, parking has been significantly increased adding more than 800 spaces across the campus, previously unavailable to staff, visitors and the community.

"The new $34.1 million multi-level car park is providing parking for staff, so patients and the community have improved access to the most convenient parking closer to hospital entrances.

"The Campbelltown Hospital stage two redevelopment will include an expanded emergency department, a new intensive care unit, upgraded maternity and paediatric services and enhanced diagnostic services."

Dr Freelander said paid parking would likely also have implications on surrounding businesses.

He said cafes and restaurants would surely be affected as patrons would need to reduce their spending to save funds in order to park a car at the hospital.

"I find this paid parking scheme insulting considering the hard work and tireless efforts of our medical personnel during Covid-19, who have already had their wages frozen and now will have to pay to go to work," he said.

Dr Freelander said the introduction of paid parking, increasing wait times, decreasing affordability of medical procedures and concerns regarding accessibility to GP services were examples of the NSW Government's failure to lead when it comes to healthcare.

"Time and time again we are reminded of the neglectful attitude this government has towards the hardworking people of south-western Sydney and their ability to reap every dollar they can from the sick, the working and the concerned," he said.

Dr Freelander has written to the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, calling on her government to reverse this decision and provide unpaid parking to the staff, patients, and visitors of Campbelltown Hospital.

This story Campbelltown Hospital parking prices condemned first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.