Hospital parking backlash: charges up to $20 leave patients without visitors | NZ Herald

Professor Judy McGregor, new chairwoman of Waitematā DHB, has expressed concern, and the audit and finance committee has been asked to report back with a recommendation on pricing.

Some charges are more than double those in Wellington, and higher than other Auckland DHBs.

Parking for 1-2 hours costs $8.20 at North Shore and Waitākere, while in Wellington drivers are charged $6 for the same time or $4 at weekends.

Maureen Wood, chairwoman of advocacy group Waitākere Health Link, acknowledged the financial pressure on DHBs.

“They don’t have the funding. If you are told you have to have more car parks – which we do – somebody has to pay for it. The thing is, it’s the patients that are paying for it,” she told the Herald on Sunday.

“If you are visiting every day, it mounts up. A lot of people it’s not a big deal for, but my co-ordinator has had people saying, ‘we’re not happy with this’.”

People missing appointments was a costly problem for the health system, and Waitākere Health Link had heard from patients the cost of parking was one reason for this.

Pricing could discourage visitors or cut down time spent with patients, Wood said, and a 20-minute grace period was too short for people with limited mobility.

A compassionate relief policy was available, but Wood said it wasn’t clear how it was applied.

Mate Marinovich, president of Waitākere Grey Power, wrote to the DHB earlier this year citing examples where people had arrived at appointments on time, but because a specialist was running late, they had been charged $8.20 for two hours of parking.

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Hospital parking backlash: charges up to $20 leave patients without visitors – NZ Herald.