Our health care clinic has been in operation for 80 years, and some of our patients have been coming here since they were children. We pride ourselves on providing balanced medical care that looks at all aspects of a patient's wellbeing, including their mood, mental health, social connection as well as their physical health. As many of our patients are older, we've become specialists in geriatric care and help patients to stay at home as long as possible. We find that happy and connected seniors tend to be healthy. Our blog is all about holistic care for older patients in a health care clinic.
Recently the media has been reporting extensively on the parking fees paid by patients who visit hospitals. In many cases, these fees cost more than medicine, and people with chronic illnesses may end up spending $100 a week or more on parking fees. The Cancer Council and the Australian Medical Association have called for changes to be made, but those are still in the works.
If you need to see a doctor and don't want to face exorbitant parking fees, there are a few things you can do. Take a look at these ideas:
1. See doctors in small clinics rather than large hospitals.
Most of the outrage over parking fees is affiliated with hospitals. These large institutions tend to be served by parking garages, and to fuel the hospital with additional revenue, the parking garages may charge relatively high fees. To avoid this, try to avoid the hospital whenever possible. Instead, schedule your care with doctors or specialists in small clinics surrounded by free parking lots rather than massive parking garages.
2. Look for clinics and hospitals on public transit routes.
If you must go to a medical centre or hospital with fee-based parking spots, try to avoid driving there. Instead, look for hospitals and clinics on public transit routes. If you are feeling well enough to take public transit, simply hop on the bus and let it drop you off in front of your care provider's office. If you are vision impaired or disabled, you may be eligible for free rides on public transit in many cases.
3. Talk with your doctor about concessional parking plans.
In some cases, patients can access concessional parking plans. Talk with your doctor to see if this is available. A plan like this makes your parking free so you don't have to pay expensive costs. If you see multiple doctors or visit multiple clinics, speak to each clinic separately -- as concessions are based on individual cases and may vary from facility to facility.
4. Create a patient carpool.
If you cannot avoid the costs of parking, try reducing them by carpooling with other patients. If you have group sessions for hot water therapy for arthritis, mental health support groups or similar things, talk with your fellow patients about carpooling together to sessions. Alternatively, even if you see your doctor alone, hang a sign in the hospital and try to network with other patients who come to the same clinic or hospital on a regular basis.