THERE are no plans to create any more parking spaces at Orange hospital despite criticism from the public there aren’t enough places for patients and visitors.
Acting general manager Sue Patterson said there is sufficient parking at the health service with the 623 places at present which includes 18 disability spaces, six drop-off spaces at the emergency department, and two spaces for parents with prams.
Ms Patterson said the health service management is encouraging people to make more use of the undercover drop off points at the front and rear of the hospital.
“We are continuing to look for opportunities to streamline parking and encourage people to make use of the weather protected drop-off zones, as well as the three five-minute marked drop-off zones at the back entrance,” said Ms Patterson.
However Parkes resident Dave Wilson who has been a regular user of the car parks during his wife’s recent chemotherapy treatment says it isn’t good enough.
“I’m going to start a petition and when I’m in Orange this week I will be speaking to hotel owners to see if they will have petitions in their premises,” he said.
Mr Wilson said he has written to member for Orange Andrew Gee who has told him he has raised the issue with NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and is awaiting a response.
He said he has also written to the Orange Health Service management expressing his concerns.
“There’s no other way round this other than to build a multi-story car park,” he said.
Mr Wilson said his outrage has been sparked after a negative experience where he had to walk his wife from the oncology unit to the back of the Bloomfield Country Club in dark and freezing conditions.
“We were stumbling along and a nurse asked if my wife was alright.
“When I told her how far we had to walk to our car she told us to write to the hospital and to Mr Gee,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson said at the time the rear car park was only 10 per cent full.
“On the face of it, it would appear that it is the staff who are using these spots,” he said.
He said in a letter from the hospital management he was told while staff who work on the campus such as IT staff, and executive and clinical governance have been requested to park away from the car parks on other parts of the grounds, it appears the message hasn’t got through to staff working in the general hospital.
“The reality is there is just not enough parking spaces.
“I don’t mind if I have to pay because that’s what you have to do in Westmead and other Sydney hospitals.