WOULD you fork out $1000 a year to park at a hospital?
The Health Services Union (HSU) launched its $1000 No Way campaign at Blacktown Hospital last week to lobby for staff and patients forced to pay more than $1000 a year to park vehicles.
Blacktown Hospital was chosen as the campaign launch site, where staff already pay $10 a week for parking — a fee which will rise to $21 from July next year.
"It's a grab for cash by the state government," HSU NSW deputy manager Phil Kessey said.
"Pay rises are capped at 2.5 per cent so any pay rise staff do get will be gobbled up by parking."
The statewide campaign will travel to other hospitals in the coming months.
"We have written to the Health Minister asking to sit down with us to work out a sensible and affordable way," Mr Kessey said.
The HSU did nothing when former Labor state government signed hospitals to inflexible parking contracts, says Health Minister Jillian Skinner.
"The HSU did not speak up for patients then and is playing politics now," she said.
"The state government is committed to improving access to car parking at hospitals across the state. We're investing more than $100 million to create more spaces for patients, their families and staff."
She said the changes will mean a fairer deal for patients.
Concessional rates apply to cancer patients, patients and carers visiting more than twice weekly, pensioners and veterans, disabled patients and outpatients who need daily dressings.