House debates

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Statements by Members

Kingston Electorate: Noarlunga Hospital Parking

1:49 pm

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to raise concerns that many of my constituents have regarding the standardisation of car parking fees at metropolitan hospitals in Adelaide at commercial rates. In particular, local residents have been concerned with SA Health's announcement that parking fees will be introduced at Noarlunga Hospital, and this move may impose extra financial burden on some of our community's most vulnerable, including pensioners and patients with chronic disease who need to visit regularly for hospital treatment. In addition, there are frequent visitors to the hospital, including carers and the hospital staff, who may be caught by this.

While SA Health has announced that some groups of patients and volunteers will be able to apply for exemptions and that staff will receive a discount, local residents are concerned that some of the most vulnerable in our community will not necessarily qualify for this exemption and discounts may not be enough. Some local residents believe that automatic exemptions from car parking fees for those who hold a pension or healthcare card would go a long way toward ensuring that those who can least afford it can still access services at Noarlunga Hospital.

Noarlunga Hospital provides important services to southern Adelaide, and I welcome the state government's commitment of $31 million for the redevelopment of this hospital, expanding the bed capacity and redeveloping theatres and day surgeries. However, it is important that those that need this service, especially those with chronic disease, the elderly and staff, can access it without a huge financial impost.