Over 300 nurses protested against increases in parking charges at public hospitals. They rallied outside state Parliament at Perth City, Australia, as published in ABC online news.
Dr. Kim Hames, health minister, announced that Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital will increase its car parking cost by $5 per week for funding a new multi-storey car park.
Mark Olson of the Australian Nursing Federation is not in favor of the unjustified price hike. That is how he defined it. So he is asking for cheaper parking charges.
"The increases are based on a policy of discouraging people from parking at public hospitals, not about cost recovery," he stated.
Olson said that if the charges continue to increase, some public hospitals would also raise their fee by as much as seven times. He also added that nurses are willing to pay a fair fee that goes up with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
"They don't think it's appropriate that they be forced away from parking their cars and remember the majority of our members are working shift work," he said.
According to Dr. Hames, he already told the Parliament that increases are minimal. He admitted, however, that the implementation of the hospital parking increase could have done slowly.
"It is unfortunate when staff do have to pay more. It's something that probably should have been done gradually over a longer period of time. The fact is the former government should have recognized the need for parking," Hames said.
He said earlier that nurses in nursing scrubs will be benefited from parking on site. Seventy-five percent of nurses take public transport to reach their working areas. The new car park is said to lessen their cost of travel.
"The cost of that is higher than what they were paying before, but less than they would have had to pay for a two zone public transport. So, in effect they'll be paying less than they would have otherwise and get the benefits of parking on site," said Hermes.
Finally, he said that the government withdrew its plan of increasing the hospital parking fee at Osborne Park and Fremantle.
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