Mr Guy was joined by Shadow Health Minister Mary Wooldridge (left) and his candidate for Ivanhoe, Monica Clark. (ABC News: Dylan Anderson)
Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has promised to tackle the “skyrocketing” cost of hospital car parking with a $40-million subsidy which he says will make parking cheaper for more than 120,000 people.
Premier Daniel Andrews — also campaigning on Wednesday ahead of the November 24 state election, also focused on health, promising a $100-million upgrade of the Maryborough Hospital in the ultra-marginal seat of Ripon.
Mr Guy visited the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg to announce his plan to freeze hospital car parking fees for two years, and extend eligibility for concessional parking rates to pensioners, direct relatives and patients undergoing intensive treatment.
“Hospital car parking is out of control in terms of cost,” Mr Guy said.
“We have to do something to help those who need it the most, at a time when they need it the most,” he said.
Mr Guy said a Coalition government would require hospitals to clearly display parking fees, concession parking fees and concession eligibility, as well as how to apply for concessions.
Mr Guy said his plan would save eligible patients and carers up to $20 a day.
Over a year the changes could amount to a saving of as much as $1,000 for some people, such as patients receiving dialysis, he said.
The Coalition would provide a subsidy to hospitals of $10 million a year to make up for revenue they would lose.
“I know they make a lot of money from car parks and put that money back into their own services,” Mr Guy said.
“This will be a direct subsidy back to the healthcare network so they won’t be losing any money.”
Daniel Andrews has promised $100 million to upgrade Maryborough’s hospital. (ABC News: Stephanie Anderson)
Meanwhile, the Labor campaign travelled to Maryborough where Mr Andrews promised $100 million to “essentially rebuild” its hospital.
“We will upgrade this hospital; it will be better than it’s ever been if we are re-elected on the 24th of November,” he said.
“This will really be a very big game changer for Maryborough District Health Service in terms of the clinical care, in terms of the jobs that it will deliver, and ultimately the services in world class facilities.”
“This sets Maryborough Hospital up to treat more patients, to provide better care, to mean that less locals have to leave this community.
“Nothing’s more important than being able to get the care you need, when you need it, as close to home as possible.”
Moments after the Labor campaign bus departed, the Liberal member for Ripon, Louise Staley, arrived at the hospital promising to match the pledge.
“An elected Liberal Nationals government will provide $100 million to the Maryborough District Health Service,” Ms Staley said.
“We will fully implement their master plan.
“We can absolutely commit to giving this service the new facilities that it so desperately deserves.”
Ms Staley holds the seat on a margin of less than 1 per cent.