“I have been lobbying to bring in free parking ever since 2016 when the hospital and Lismore City Council brought in this impost on all those working in or visiting the hospital,” Ms Saffin said. “It was a dreadful move and neither staff nor patient friendly.
“I’ve been determined to deliver on this for my community and I am really pleased that it will also be delivered at regional hospitals and health facilities across NSW.
“I thank NSW Health Services Union Secretary Gerard Hayes, the local nurses and all other hospital staff for backing in my campaign to bring back free parking.”
Minister Park noted that free parking was already available to staff in NSW regional hospitals and that expanding this to include patients and visitors would honour a key election commitment by Labor.
“The NSW Government has fulfilled its promise to communities across regional NSW on this issue,” he said.
Mr Hayes said HSU members “have campaigned for relief from parking fees for years and this is a major breakthrough, especially with the current cost of living crisis”.
In further good news, Minister Park has announced the establishment of a new North Coast Rapid Outreach Service that will provide more care options for patients, families and carers living in the Tweed, Byron and Murwillumbah communities.
The free service will operate seven days a week when it becomes operational in late-2023 and will enable patients to be treated in the comfort of their own homes, reducing the pressure on hospital emergency departments.
Ms Saffin said the service would boost access to health care in the region.
“By providing care and support in person in the patient’s own home or aged care facility, as well as through virtual care platforms, the service removes the burden of having to travel to hospital or the GP for healthcare,” she said.
Patients will be able to be referred through several avenues, including via Healthdirect, NSW Ambulance or emergency department staff.
Wednesday 26 July 2023