Nurses moving cars for cancer patients, social workers challenging parking fines and doctors cutting short appointments to ensure patients move their cars are among the issues highlighted in a new Cancer Council Victoria report into car parking at Victorian hospitals.
The Investigation of parking at Victorian cancer treatment centres report was released today for public consultation following input from staff at 53 cancer treatment centres across Victoria.
Among the report's findings:
- A patient with breast cancer that undergoes uncomplicated treatment is estimated to spend more than $1,100 annually in parking fees;
- Cost (57% of survey respondents), insufficient spaces (43%) and time-limited parking (41%) were identified as the three areas of concern by hospital staff; and
- Patients at one hospital were faced with paying $75 to park for a day while undergoing treatment as other parking options were frequently exhausted.
Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said addressing parking issues will benefit patients, their families and medical professionals.
Undergoing cancer treatment is tough enough for many, without the added financial burden of having to pay for parking. Victorian cancer patients have access to world-leading facilities and therapies - fixing problems with parking is one way we can ease the burden for cancer patients."
Only one-in-five centres provided patients with information on local parking prior to commencing treatment.
"If more treatment centres were able to provide this information in advance, that means more time spent planning treatment and getting better, as well as freeing up doctors, nurses and social workers to do the most important part of their jobs," said Mr Harper.
While her husband Kevin was being treated for throat cancer, Sue Riley believes she spent more than $500 on car parking in just three months.
"It was a very difficult time. We ended up spending the money we had saved for a Christmas holiday on parking and other costs. The constant anxiety of having to move the car every two hours, at a time when I wanted to support my husband, was just so frustrating.
"At a time like that you just don't need any extra stress."
The Investigation of parking at Victorian cancer treatment centres report is now open for public consultation. Cancer patients, their friends and family members, as well as health professionals and the wider community are encouraged to view the report and provide their feedback at www.cancervic.org.au/parking.