A bid to start charging staff and patients for parking at Hawke's Bay Hospital has been roundly rejected by the district health board.
Hospital management, concerned at the lack of parking and the cost of maintaining parks, had proposed that patients and visitors pay fees of $2 for up to an hour and a maximum of $5 for a full day, and that staff pay between $10 and $20 a week.
The 11 DHB members gave a variety of reasons for opposing the plan at their monthly meeting yesterday.
Chairman Kevin Atkinson questioned the impact on the goodwill of staff at a time when they were being asked to meet increasing efficiency demands.
Ngahiwi Tomoana said charges would be seen as punitive on people who came to the hospital in need of compassion and at times of trauma.
The last thing they needed was a fine, or finding their car had been towed away.
Dan Druzianic felt charges would "disenfranchise a large number of staff".
Denis Eaglesome said the board had to value its people and suggested the region's councils be asked whether they could fund more parking space through rates.
Diana Kirton said many could struggle with the charge.
Hawke's Bay is one of 12 DHBs that do not charge parking fees.
Wellington's Capital & Coast DHB made more than $2 million from car parks in the 2011-12 year.
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