Big Win for Petitioners as State Government Directs LCCH, PAH & Other Public Hospitals to Reduce Parking Fees

Petitioner sees the government action as a victory for patients and carers.

After an online petition, the Queensland Government has ordered state public hospitals, a number of which are in the inner-city Brisbane area, to lower their parking fees.

A petition filed on by health support worker Justine Christerson was signed by almost 17,000 Queensland residents. The petition detailed the additional burden on the part of the patients, their friends and family as well as carers, who have to pay high prices for parking.

Parking Policy

The Health Service Directive, released by the state government on 1 July 2017, instructs all Queensland hospital and health services to develop a local policy that will make car parking accessible and affordable for patients, their carers, visitors and hospital staff.

The directive also requires hospital and health services to create a local staff car parking policy to address the safety of staff completing or starting shifts between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. The policy should also ensure that on-call staff will have ready workplace access for emergency needs.

Petitioners’ Voice

Ms Christerson filed the petition in April 2017 asking authorities to investigate the car park pricing at hospitals. Examples cited are inner-city hospitals Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital,  Princess Alexandra HospitalLady Cilento Children’s Hospital and Mater.

Mater Hospitals provide parking access to Mater Children’s Private Hospital and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, which happens to be the only public Children’s Hospital in Queensland. The following are the parking rates at Mater’s multi-storey car park.

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The petition also mentioned how parents who stayed at the new Ronald McDonald House also needed to pay around $30 per day or $110 each week, in addition to travel expenses and being away from home.

Some petitioners expressed how they had to cancel several appointments because they did not have the funds for parking. Petitioners also voiced out that metered street parking was not a viable option for patients and their families because of the time limit. Most people with hospital appointments ended up paying fines when they used metered street parking.

The petition pointed out that hospital car park fees are bigger than Brisbane Airport parking fees.

Ms Christerson asked the state government to follow the example of New South Wales, which cut parking fees after a petition filed a 13-year-old patient.

Directive Requirements

Having received the petition,  the state government issued a directive requiring all hospitals to come up with a local car parking concessions policy by 1 October 2017. The local staff car parking policy should be done by 31 December 2017.

The hospital and health services must also consult with hospital employees, consumer groups and patients during the creation of the parking policies. The strategy, policies and procedures must also be communicated appropriately to the patients, visitors, carers and hospital staff.

Read the Health Service Directive in detail.