Michael Storey said his 73-year-old friend took his wife to the hospital for day surgery and stayed with her, only to find a $21 parking bill and another $9 bill when he returned that evening to spend more time with his recovering wife.
Mr Storey said he was also slugged $3 just for dropping his wife off for a day procedure in a turnaround time of 45 minutes.
‘It’s totally wrong and they charge 24 hours a day,’ Mr Storey said. ‘It used to be $2 an hour, which was manageable.’
He said it was unfair fees had to be paid 24 hours a day as those visiting very early in the morning were usually settling people in for day procedures before leaving.
‘And it’s not just the pensioners, it’s unfair for people waiting to see surgeons at the medical centre, which takes one to three hours, and expectant mothers whose partners and support people sometimes have to park for hours during the birth of a baby,’ Mr Storey said.
SJGMH acting chief executive Colin Young said the new $3 per hour (capped at $21 a day) fee was introduced in July and 24/7 charging came into effect in August.
He said the boom gate infrastructure and pricing plan was an essential step in managing access to bays to ensure patients were able to park on site.
‘Prior to this measure, our patients and visitors were having great difficulty in accessing bays due to the significant demand on campus parking,’ Mr Young said.
‘Once Fiona Stanley Hospital opens, we will face more parking pressure through increased activity to the Murdoch precinct.’
He said SJGMH was subject to a cap on the number of bays, in keeping with general planning guidelines under the Murdoch Activity Precinct Structure Plan.
A ‘TravelSmart’ program had been implemented to encourage staff to consider alternative means of commuting to the campus.