31 October 2005

Pay Parking at Canberra Hospital

| Chris S
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The ACT Government proposes to introduce pay parking at Canberra and Calvary Hospitals, a move that has created a fair bit of concern amongst a number of Canberrans. There will be significant negative impacts on patients, their families and friends. Given that staff and volunteers will be exempt (which will do nothing for encouraging use of public transport), the fee burden will impact those who are least able to make any alternative arrangements.

The Garran Community Association intends holding a public meeting to discuss:

• The Canberra Hospital pay parking proposal;
• The change of location of the helicopter pad; and
• The development of a Master Plan for the site, including a secure mental health facility.

The Garran Community Association has significant concerns over the pay parking proposal, due to:
• The negative impact on patients, their families and friends;
• The lengthy queues at emergency, which means that some patients will undoubtedly incur penalties through no fault of their own;
• Fee-exempt staff will utilise available parking, and push patients and the supporters into surrounding streets;
• That past planning failures have resulted in parking becoming a major issue; and
• That TCH’s approach simply shifts the parking problem into surrounding residential areas.

Helipad Relocation
The location and operations of the helipad adversely affects many residents in Woden Valley, and any re-location may have other consequences.

Secure Mental Health Facility
A dedicated secure mental health facility located at the Canberra Hospital has been proposed.

If you are concerned about any of these issues, find out more and have your say at a meeting to be held:

Assembly Hall, Garran Primary School

10 November 2005

7.30 pm

Chris Shelling
President, Garran Community Association

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Timmy&Jimmy, dare you ruin a perfectly good diatribe with sense and reason… damn you!

As far as I am aware, no decision on how the pay parking will be implemented has been made yet. It is quite possible that arrangements will be put in place similar to private car parks where you pay for your ticket when you exit the car park. This would mean no parking infringement notices, and the possibility of capping the parking at approx $5.50 a day. Quite reasonable, not out of line with other jurisdictions and helping to pay for a better quality of health care.

Parking Inspectors… a lovely bunch of blokes and ladies. Always up for a friendly chat with anyone who treats them half decent. After all they’re just doing their job AND UNLIKE the Auschwitz guards who used the same excuse (I had to get it in before one of you pedants did) their job is to make the world a better, tidier place where it’s easy to drive because the streets are clear, where there’s sufficient parking for everyone if each takes only their allotted time and the crippled don’t have to walk a kilometre to the shops because some ignorant arse (probably a smoker) has parked in the disabled spot because THEY’RE TOO IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THE RULES!!!

And before you start yes I know… ass, moron, bigot, WTF, STFU etc etc

Mr Evil it wouldn’t surprise me.

When Tuggers became paid parking the Dept of Ed had to close off it’s parking to staff only as none of them could get a car park!

Paying for parking is a joke, it’s not like we don’t pay enough in “extras”.

Re parking inspectors, I did the wrong thing re parking in civic the other day, tried to squeeze into half a park on bunda st leaving the tail of the ute sticking out and then didn’t put any money in the meter, ducked into pick up an anniversary present and came back 5min later to see a parking inspector writing out a ticket.

I knew I did the wrong thing so sidled up to the parking inspector, smiled and said “well that was an expensive 5 minutes” fully expecting a ticket. He turned to me and asked if this was my car which I acknowledged and he cancelled the ticket he was writing, gave me a quick lecture and let me off with a warning. Top bloke.

I read somewhere (maybe on RiotACT?) that some people who work in/near Woden are parking at the Hospital to avoid having to pay for parking in Woden Town Centre? Can anyone confirm if this is the case?

Philby I agree with you that a ticket is a minor inconvenience compared to a snafu of a loved one, however it is an insult to injury (no pun intended) for those suffering what may be a large emotional, physical and/or financial burden in the first place.

I’m with Thumper in that it’s unAustralian, digusting, revolting etc. ad nauseum.

I don’t blame the parking inspectors (although IMHO some of them are far sneakier than humans), it’s not their decision where and when they have to police parking infringements. The gov’t should take a long hard look at themselves before giving themselves a well deserved uppercut.

Maybe it’s more cunning than mere revenue raising. Maybe it’s another insidious strategy to pressure the poor, the cheap and/or the lazy and dissuade them from turning up in casualty with their cold and flu symptoms (although these days if YOU DO have a cold and you turn up with a chicken under your arm you’d probably be treated straight away!)People with blood spurting from a loved one’s ruptured artery or suicidally depressed friends will consider a parking ticket an inconvenience but their energies and concerns will be focused elsewhere, people with a cold will be outraged. Interestingly I turned up with a cold once (well pneumonia, a very bad cold and a referral from my GP) it turned out that I had a heart condition and I was rushed to coronary intensive care. I had driven and it was 3 days before I could get someone to pick up my car, I explained that to the nice people at the motor registry and my ticket was cancelled. Parking inspectors? Salt of the earth, keeping the streets clear for the motorists of the nation.

Thge whole premise sucks – whether you are there to deliver a baby, see a sick relative, charge into emergency or spend hour upon hour hanging around ICU hoping against all hope, the last thing on your mind is parking money.

Sound awfully like revenue raising to me – they are banking on people being so sick, worried, upset that they forget to pay for parking and can generate $65 of revenue rather than $1.20.

I have been booked at Canbera Hospital before – a few years ago when I spent many hours in ICU after a good mate had been in a motorcycle accident. I was stunned that the revenue office could be so heartless and more than a little bi pissed about it all.

That being said I can’t attend the meeting, and in all likelihood (as Mael has pointed out) it would be a bit of a waste of time.

Start putting pen to paper, people, and let our MLA’s know that this is one trough to keep their greedy snouts out of.

Pay parking at the hospital is victimaisation of a captive audience.

It’s not just emergency room patients who will be affected. People who are going to the maternity ward are often there longer than they expect (I had a baby 7 weeks ago and labour was 39 hours, plus a few more hours for surgery).

A few weeks ago I was at WVH (Canberra Hospital is crap name) with a friend who was suicidal. After 8 (yes you read that correctly) she was taken to the “back” and ended up sleeping in the hospital triage bed before being “allowed” to go home.

CATT came and then left. Two days later she was back again, only she got in quicker as she had taken panadol (apparently that’s bad for the liver) – 3 1/2 hours after waiting.

When people are suicidal there are two options in Canberra – public (PSU at WVH and Ward 2N at Calvary) and private (John James and Hyson Green at Calvary).

I wouldn’t put anyone into PSU and according to CATT there is only room at PSU for mental health patients at the moment.

Had my friend had private health insurance – which she cannot afford – she could have been in Hyson Green within the hour.

What a joke. Then again, I would have gotten a parking ticket four times over that first night if it was introduced.

How about the politicians pay (from their own pockets not ours) for parking ANYWHERE in Canberra and no “supplied” car? Even better, why aren’t they charged an added “tax” for parking so we all don’t have to pay it. It’s not like they can’t afford to pay for parking.

yes paying for parking as blood is spurting everywhere is such a great idea,

go into emergency thinking you’ll only be there 2 hours, you get seen after 1.5 hours waiting and then however long it takes to be seen to, and then walk outside to find you’ve gotten a ticket

what could be better

Some things really stand out as differentiating the absolute wankers in society from everybody else.

I can say for a fact that the VERY last thing on my mind as I was driving my bleeding/injured child/spouse/stranger to the hospital would be pay parking.

The fact that they are using this poor excuse for revenue raising on behalf of ‘us’ appalls me.

That said, I won’t be attending the meeting. Public meetings are for dispersing information, not decision making.

Chris, you can quote me if you like.

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