'Countless' dollars wasted on parking tickets
A Hamilton man has been given two months free parking at Waikato Hospital after his hospital parking ticket was rejected.
Brian Burne said he was not aware that he could purchase a weekly ticket until he had "forked out countless dollars" to visit his critically ill wife.
The Waikato District Health Board did not advertise the fact this ticket exists but if visitors ask at the ward's reception they can purchase it, he said.
Burne's wife was admitted to hospital last month with a severe neurological condition. Doctors had indicated she would be in hospital for up to two months.
For several weeks during his wife's admittance Burne bought daily parking tickets, which could cost up to $7.50 per day.
"We have enough on our minds without having to deal with things like this," said Burne.
When Burne discovered he could buy a weekly ticket he felt it was not only saving money but also "the hassle and time". However he said the ticket was often rejected at the hospital parking gates.
"When it did not work I had to call on my own mobile for someone to come and fix it, costing me more money," he said.
After lodging a report with the hospital regarding his experience, Burne contacted the Ministry of Health to formalise his concerns.
However District Health Board director Neville Hablous said the neurology ward Burne was visiting displayed brochures explaining the options for parking.
"Mr Burne's card did not work because it was creased and torn."
The hospital car park on Hague Road does not have an intercom but is labelled with numbers to call if someone requires assistance.
Hablous said Burne's initial call to the hospital car park staff member was offensive, but when he phoned back a second time a staff member came to let him in. "We realise Mr Burne may have been upset but the personal nature of his complaining was offensive to the staff member involved."
Hablous said the hospital was already in the process of following up Burne's complaint when they received a call from the Ministry of Health regarding the issue.
Hospital staff issued Burne with a programmed card to get in and out of the car park building.
"We have also emphasised the need to keep the card in good condition, if it is damaged in anyway, it cannot be read by our machines," Hablous said.
Burne has since said he is grateful to the hospital for providing him with two months free parking.
If the patient you are visiting is staying longer than one night, you can request a weekly pass from the ward and pay at the pay machine.
One pass per patient
$7 for seven days of parking in the carpark building
Allows you to come and go as much as you need
Can be used for different vehicles, but only one vehicle at a time