Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Disabled Parking Of A Different Kind

12 Oct 2011Hospital’s can be a saviour if you or a family member becomes sick or injured. They help to cure people and nurture them back to health and without them, we’d be lost. But what if the hospital that you require so urgently has terrible parking facilities? This is the case at my local hospital, and for me and thousands of other local residents and patients who attend Nepean Hospital in Penrith, and have been putting up with this parking debacle, we are fed up.

I rarely have to take a trip to hospital for myself these days, but occasionally, tests or specialist appointments will be scheduled at my local hospital, or, if I’m visiting a friend or family member, I am required to go.

In fact, I have been three times in the last two or three months, and all three times, I experienced a nightmare whilst searching for parking, almost missing my appointments. The first appointment I had, I ended up having to park illegally in a no parking zone. After driving around for about 20 minutes, circling the minimal car parks, and even smaller amount of disabled parking, I was left with no other choice. Luckily, I returned to my car to see no parking fine on my windscreen.

With upgrades continuing on the hospital’s mental health unit and car park, which aren’t estimated to be finished until 2013, others in the area haven’t been as lucky as me, having to drive around to find parking for up to 45 minutes or having to park so far away that by the time they reach the hospital, they have completely missed their appointment.

Local residents have also complained about hospital visitors parking across their driveways, blocking them in their own house for hours at a time. While others take a risk and park anywhere they can find, which often results in fines.

Since the reservations have been going on, the disabled parking spaces have cut down dramatically from approximately 20, to probably less than 10. For someone like me, who has a disability, it isn’t easy having to park far away and push my wheelchair up steep hills or uneven kerbs to get to the hospital.

The Nepean Hospital Committee, the Health Services Union and Unions NSW, have all started a joint petition to have the end date of the car park construction moved forward, so it’s completed sooner. They require at least 10,000 signatures so they can present their documents to parliament. Anyone can sign the petition, and it can be accessed at the Penrith State Liberal MP’s office, Stuart Ayres. Organizers feel that with around 3000 unhappy staff members, who work at the hospital, they will have no problem reaching their 10,000 signature goal.

A hospital is a basic human right, and anyone should be able to access it whenever they need it. I feel for those who are in a worse off situation than myself, who have to visit doctors and specialists on a regular basis. Finding adequate parking just adds on to the amount of stress that is already placed upon someone with an illness or disability.

To read the original story that I discovered on the Penrith Press media website, please click here: http://penrith-press.whereilive.com.au/news/story/carpark-disaster-is-on-the-critical-list-at-nepean-hospital/ - you will also be able to see some other examples of the terrible state our hospital’s car park is in. Something has to be done! So, I urge you to go down to Stuart Ayres office and sign that petition.

Stuart Ayres
Penrith State Liberal MP
Shop 11, Station Street
PENRITH NSW 2750

Stuart Ayres MP

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Previous Comments

richard downes from brent posted on 12 Oct 2011
best wishes with this. May you set a good exmaple to the rest of britain but please add free parking to the campaign.we had an example here of a woman who spent the night in hospital watching her husband die only to go to her car to find a parking ticket on it.Whilst a cmplaint made sure the ticket and penalty were revoked it should never have happened. Free parking untaxes health and removes pressures to get to your appointments on time

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