Camden councillor slams 'unfair' Campbelltown Hospital parking prices

Picture: Simon Bennett

Picture: Simon Bennett

Camden councillor Cindy Cagney wants the 'unfair' parking prices recently implemented at Campbelltown Hospital scrapped.

Cr Cagney will raise a notice of motion at tonight's council meeting calling on the council to write to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and health minister Brad Hazzard to request that the New South Wales Government remove the parking fees at the hospital.

She said charging people to park at the hospital was unfair, particularly for its hardworking staff.

"It's totally unfair - we pay taxes to fund these projects in the first place so it's unacceptable to me that people should have to pay to visit the hospital," she said.

"Over the past few weeks a few of my family members had had to visit the hospital for various reasons and luckily we are in a position to be able to pay for parking when needed but it works out to be quite expensive over extended periods of time.

"We also have absolutely brilliant staff that work there.

"Basically anywhere we go outside the area we are paying tolls, public hospitals are funded using taxpayer dollars, so we shouldn't be asked to pay for parking as well."

The new parking prices for Campbelltown Hospital have also been condemned by Macarthur MP Dr Mike Freelander and Campbelltown MP Greg Warren.

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."

A Campbelltown Hospital spokeswoman said hospital staff only had to pay "as little as" $4.75 a day.

"Hospital car parks are for patients, families and visitors to have easy access to health services; however, staff also have access to parking for as little $4.75 per day for full-time workers," she said.

"Eligible patients, carers and visitors can take advantage of concessional rates offering unlimited access (multiple entries and exits) seven day passes for as little as $3.25 a day."

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 told the Advertiser last month 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."

Cr Cagney said she was hopeful that her fellow councillors would support the notice of motion.

"I like to think we will get the support as all of us on council have families as well," she said.

"I don't think paying to park at a hospital is fair, no matter where the hospital is.

"When loved ones are rushed to hospital sometimes you have no other choice but to pay - but you shouldn't have to pay to visit and spend time with a sick or dying loved one."

This story Camden councillor slams 'unfair' Campbelltown Hospital parking prices first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.