Whopping Wollongong Hospital car park fees to 'improve services'

Health Services Union regional organiser Andrew Gorman at Wollongong Hospital car park. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Health Services Union regional organiser Andrew Gorman at Wollongong Hospital car park. Picture: ROBERT PEET

A new fee structure will come into play when Wollongong Hospital's car park expansion is complete.

Under the NSW Health policy, the first 15 minutes of parking will be free for non-concessional visitors but after that they can expect to pay more than they currently do.

The Mercury reported last week that a half-hour visit will rise from $2.20 to $6 under the policy, while a 2½-hour stay will increase from $6.60 to $12. The daily maximum fee at the car park will rise from $11 to $18.

Hospital staff who now pay $13.50 for a five-day working week will have to pay $21 under the new system which is the focus of a Health Services Union campaign which opposes the higher costs.

However, Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka said the state government's model for new or redeveloped hospital car parks would mean a "fairer deal for patients".

"Car parking fees go towards maintaining and improving hospital services," Mr Ajaka said.

Those eligible for concessional rates would enjoy up to three hours' free parking, with a $5 daily cost and $20 for seven days, he said.

Concessions are available for a variety of groups including cancer patients and pensioners.

RELATED STORIES: Wollongong Hospital car park expansion work given green light

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