THE SHORTAGE of parking spaces at Orange hospital has resulted in an exchange of words between medical staff at Orange hospital.
One of the doctors complained via a privately generated internal document circulated to nurses, that one of them was seen parking in one of the spaces reserved for a visiting medical officer (VMO).
Nursing staff at the hospital were admonished for taking up spaces in the area on the southern side of the main hospital, urging them to park somewhere else and save the much needed spots for surgeons and other VMOs who often have to drive out to the hospital from their surgeries in Orange to treat patients in an emergency.
However one of the nurses has said nurses are also called in to work at the hospital in emergency situations and need to find a parking place close to the hospital in a hurry.
General manager of Orange Health Service Katherine Nowlan would not say if patient care was being compromised because of the parking shortage for specialists and surgeons to attend to patients.
“The first line emergency response team are on site with specialist teams called as required,” Ms Nowlan said.
She said transport officers at Orange Health Service who are based at the hospital are monitoring compliance with parking restrictions.
However no information on whether or not staff are being fined as a deterrent was provided by the hospital management.
“Patient care and safety continues to be a priority for Orange Health Service and Western NSW Local Health District,” she said
The document to nurses also claimed if they had concerns it was taking too long for a doctor to turn up it could be down to them (the nurses) for parking in the doctor’s car park area.
Parking has been a contentious issue at the hospital since it opened early in 2011 with management repeatedly notifying all staff they have an obligation if they intend to stay all day to park away from public and specially allocated areas.
However the requests have continued to fall on deaf ears with staff jockeying for car spaces every day and some staff finishing a night shift saying they do not want to park a distance from the hospital.
Recently hospital management reconfigured the upper area of the rear or eastern car park close to the community health area, where rehabilitation and physiotherapy patients often have to access the hospital with limited mobility.
Councillor Glenn Taylor has said planners and management underestimated the number of parking spaces needed at the hospital.