A new $2 fee for parking at Dapto Medical Centre has angered many patients, with the facility previously allowing up to three hours free parking.
The centre, operated by healthcare company Healius, announced that the car park price structure would change from December 2 - to ensure there was sufficient parking for patients.
However Dapto residents Margaret and Ray Potter said the charge was unfair - particularly for vulnerable patients such as the elderly and those with a disability.
The couple have fought against paid parking being introduced at the centre for a number of years, and said they were astounded at the sudden notification recently.
"My husband has multiple sclerosis and I have Meniere's (disease) which affects my balance," Mrs Potter said.
"And there's a lot of other aged, frail, disabled or very ill people in this community who would find it hard to park a distance away.
"The centre has a number of entrances, but the entrance from the car park is the only one these people can use as it has a ramp and automatic door."
Mrs Potter said many patients made multiple visits to the centre each week, as a range of other services such as pathology, imaging and physio were also available.
"As well as a visit to a GP people might need to go back for tests, treatment and follow-up appointments," she said.
"Those $2 visits will soon add up which is hard for those on low incomes."
Mrs Potter said the new charge would cause issues for patients who arrived in taxis or were driven in by family and carers, and for those who had to leave by ambulance. "Who pays the fees in these instances?"
She also queried the centre's motives for putting a stop to the fee-free parking period.
"They claim it's to prevent members of the public parking there, but since the introduction of the boom gate some years ago, and the recent appointment system, it's rare the car park is full," she said.
Meanwhile she said the parking sign (pictured below) was contradictory - in one line stating that free parking was available for three hours and in another outlining that a charge of $2 was required for anytime up to three hours.
The centre's website also still states that parking is free for the first three hours.
Dapto Medical Centre and Healius were contacted for comment. A spokeswoman for Healius said that people using the medical centre could get their tickets validated so they didn't have to pay the fee.
However that was news to Mrs Potter: "Patients aren't being told that, there's no notices about that and even the staff don't seem to be aware of that."