The Queensland Greens have announced a plan to make public hospital parking free for all patients and staff, including at the Brisbane Mater Hospital Precinct.
The Greens will buy back every privately owned carpark at a public hospital and establish a $500 million fund to upgrade and expand public hospital parking in areas of need.
Patients will be able to allocate their free parking to a friend or family member, with parking tickets validated by hospital reception. This would include anyone seeking treatment at a public hospital, including outpatients.
The total cost of introducing free hospital parking for patients and staff in all public hospitals will be $323 million over four years, including $268 million to buy back the six privatised carparks and $54 million covering lost revenue from hospital car parking fees and rent.
The plan will be funded by the Greens’ plan to raise royalties on mining corporations, which will raise $55 billion over four years.
Greens MP Michael Berkman:
“Hospital parking fees are a tax on serious illness, and Labor and the LNP’s privatisation of so many public hospital car parks means that tax is being paid into the pockets of private corporations.
“Hospital parking fees place a massive burden on patients and their families and friends, with some people being forced to sleep in their cars rather than fork out for parking.
“Rather than making sick people pay to access public healthcare, the Greens will raise royalties on mining corporations to fund free parking for public hospital patients and staff.
“We’ll reverse Labor and the LNP’s privatisation of our public hospital assets, put money back into the pockets of hardworking healthcare workers and ensure sick people aren’t taxed just for having to go to hospital.”
There are currently 13 Queensland public hospitals with paid onsite parking. Of those 13, only three are publicly run, with six run by private corporations and three run by public hospital foundations. Parking fees can be as high as $40 per day at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital.
Every year Queenslanders spend $13 million on public hospital car parking.