13 April 2006

More Pay Parking - This Time lets charge the Sick People

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The ABC have this story up on the release of details on how the ACT govt wants to raise more revenue through pay parking at Canberra hospitals. They’re starting the meters at 6.30 AM and going until 9PM, so the hospital will probably have to get their own parking inspectors as the ACT govt ones usually only work 8.30-5.30 (except on Friday). Full day parking will be $5.

Brendan Smyth has come out saying that after the extra bureaucracy to run the system that it won’t make money, I believe it will make bucket loads of money and thats the only reason that they’re doing it. You’re fighting the wrong argument Brendan.

Does the govt have a think tank set up looking into what other essential services they can charge for? They’ve looked at charging people around Civic to park in their own driveways, charging to park at hospitals, lets start charging for bike rack space too.

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Cool…so now you get to pay up to $5 to have your car broken into at Canberra Hospital.



maybe if the governement has more money fromt his they wont have to scrap so many departments in the much-rumoured fuctional review…

or meaybe when I get shunted back into health we might see some of it… yeh i believ that…

Barking Toad, I generally don’t call my mother ‘mummy’ to start with, I’m not a child. There is plenty of parking for the sick and their families… it just sucks that now we have to PAY for it. If the families can’t find parking, they just musn’t be looking in the right spots.

I agree, pay and display is totally inappropriate.

it should be a case of paying off the ticket and including it in the bill for treatment to be paid by whoever’s picking up the tab.

*sigh* in a perfect world…

Well $5 is not much but I think we miss the point. The largest amount gathered is fines for those who forget to get back to their car in time. What’s that about $80. If the gov installed boom gates where they can I would not be so annoyed. I reckon without the fines they would not think it worthwhile.

When the pay parking proposal was first mooted, Corbell said: “The expected $800,000 a year in revenue would initially be used to create more parking spaces, but later invested in public hospital services. The reason that we’re doing this is twofold”, Mr Corbell said. “First of all, it will assist [ACT] Health to have some capacity to meet demands in the system, so the money will go toward health-related activities. Secondly, and more importantly, it will help us manage car parking at the two campuses.”

TCH’s announcement says that: “Pay parking will be pay and display. The machines will have the option of credit card or mobile phone payments, as well as cash. Change machines will be located in the foyer of the hospitals.”

This proposal is inequitable, and poses unfair burdens on patients, families, carers and friends. This is an entirely different situation to what happens at shopping centres – when you purchase your ticket for, say 2 hours, then you manage your shopping within that timeframe. It is almost impossible to do the same at Hospital – patients and carers are almost entirely at the mercy of the system, and any unexpected or emergency situation for medical staff can change a short stay to a prolonged one. One advantage for the government with this “pay and display” system is that each car park is likely to be paid for several times over, as each visitor needs to purchase much longer than they need, just to ensure they don’t get caught out.

since when would any of this money make its way directly into health funding?
it will all go straight into consolidated revenue where it will be spent on whatever they feel like

if only there was a direct link between revenue collection and funding of services the govt would find it much more difficult to throw in any revenue raising activities they feel like

barking toad11:41 am 13 Apr 06

You visit mummy at work schmerica, 3-4 times a week? No wonder there’s a dearth of parking space available for the sick and their families.

Barking Toad, Corbell has said that the money raised (govt estimates vary from $600k to $1m, and the Opposition reckons not very much at all when the capital cost, exemptions, maintenance etc are taken into account) will go to fund health services.

That will perhaps occur for the first year or two, until a smart Treasurer sees this money and sucks it into general revenue. Or alternatively, the Treasurer will see the pay parking receipts as additional income to the Hospitals, and cut the Health budget by that amount.

Either way, patients and their families are just paying yet another impost that will make no difference to the quality of health care, and will simply supplement the bottom line.

barking toad11:36 am 13 Apr 06

Yeah, 5 bucks for the full day isn’t going to break anyone. And it may discourage the freeloaders who clog up the emergency/outpatients instead of going to a GP.

But it’s the start of the gouging of money out of the punters that’s only going to get worse as the mayor struggles to come to terms with the growing deficit as he throws funds at hippie schemes.

This really sucks. My mother works in the hospital and I go and visit her about 3 – 4 times a week, and if I have to pay for parking I wont be able to do it. It also shits me that for one of our cars, we have a voucher where we can park in a specific area all day. But we can never park there because people without the vouchers park there.

jamius maximus11:26 am 13 Apr 06

Perhaps they could have introduced free parking for patients and potentially direct family members.

This would be optional and would involve collecting a day ticket to display from reception upon checking in. The ‘users’ would still have to pay.

I dunno, compared to the costs of going to hospital i’d be surprised if anyone who can’t pay $5 a day can afford to run a car.

On the other hand this will discourage the buggers who park and ride the bus from Calvary or just park all day and walk to Woden from TCH.

That means sick people will be able to actually find a spot to park.

barking toad10:37 am 13 Apr 06

My anger at this gouging of funds from the ill and their relatives is softened by the knowledge that those funds will be put to a better use by the mayor and his sad mate.

Like a new garden to compete with the one we’ve already got and a new road for a warp speed bus – complete with a new tunnel through a hill just because some other labor states have got them.

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