More must be done to reduce hospital parking costs: RACQ

RACQ has called for more to be done to reduce hospital parking fees, after reports some people slept in their cars to secure cheaper street parking close to Brisbane’s major medical facilities.

The Brisbane Times reported patients and families had complained concessions and discounts on hospital car parking fees were not enough to ease the financial burden.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said the Club encouraged the Queensland Government to review and improve the management of parking subsidies. 

“Parking at hospitals can be a real burden on patients and their carers, and often adds more unnecessary costs and stress at an already difficult time in their lives,” Dr Michael said.

“Unfortunately, it’s also a cost that’s hard to avoid as on-street parking and other parking options are incredibly limited around metropolitan hospitals areas. 

“By recording and monitoring the need and demand for parking subsidies it’ll ensure those who need it most will have access.

“We also encourage patients who need to travel for specialist medical services to look at other assistance options which may be available through community support groups, or the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme, which provides financial help towards transport and accommodation for patients and their escorts.”

Dr Michael called on governments, hospitals and commercial parking providers to ensure there were enough parks available for those who really needed them.

“Cost is one factor, but availability is another and we often hear carparks at hospitals are regularly at capacity,” she said.

“No one should have to worry about finding a park when taking a loved one to emergency or important medical treatment.”