Ever since the last two years, different Governments from across the globe are paying utmost heed to upskilling their healthcare infrastructure in order to ensure overall health and well-being of everyone alike. Keeping in view the same, I want to raise a very valid point of making a facility of Valet Parking available in PGIMER and GMCH-32, Chandigarh in the interest of the patients.
The PGI Hospital and the Govt Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 Chandigarh are attending thousands of patients every day and are thus doing a great service to Tricity as well as the neighbouring states. However, it is an undeniable fact that every institution must upgrade the infrastructure as per the needs, which keeps changing. These two institutions have multiple parking lots, but they are far away, from the actual entrance to the hospital. In this scenario, if a patient himself or herself comes on its four-wheeler then congested/overloaded/far away parking lots cause a lot of despair.
Secondly, if it is raining, it becomes extremely difficult for the patients and even the attendant to move from the parking lot to the main building. In PGI, the parking lots between the department are meant for the staff and not for patients. Whereas the patients/visitors parking lots are far away, and it is extremely painful to walk to the main entrance. In a nutshell, first parking is a big issue (as parking lots are not as per requirement) and secondly, if one gets parking, then it is difficult to reach the department or main building of the hospital. The patient/attendant, both feel harassed and suffer due to the inappropriate arrangement of parking.
I have brought this issue to the kind notice of Mansukh L. Mandaviya Bharati Pawar, The Union Health Minister, Union Health Secretary, Govt of India, The Director of PGIMER, Chandigarh, and The Health Secretary of Chandigarh Administration in my recent letter to them.
I have proposed the following solutions in order to ensure proper parking for the patients/attendants:
i) Provide valet parking.
ii) Reconstruct multi-level parking lots and provide shuttle service from parking to the various entries of hospitals.
iii) Change the parking system i.e. the parking in between the departments should be designed for the patients/attendants and parking lots at a distance can be reserved for the staff.
In option no. (i) and (iii), no financial burden and instant results can be promising. Whereas, option no. (ii) may involve the requirement of funds to create fresh infrastructure.
In the tough times, people often park their vehicles in the hospitals or at places other than the designated places (due to no space) and then, the vehicle is towed, and the person is issued a fine. Thereby, adding more trouble in the life of the already troubled persons.
Parking mis-management in PGI is adding stress to patients and needs emergent attention due to the elderly, incapacitated, and mobility impaired visitors. Even if the hospital provides parking spots, the patient’s visits are difficult due to self-parking. Introducing valet parking removes the stress of navigating a parking lot and then walking down to the hospital main entrance or the department. In the rain, it is nothing less than hell. Thus, hospital valet alleviates several problems for patients and guests when it comes to providing valet service to patients and guests. In reality, valet service is more of a necessity than a luxury.
Ajay Jagga is a Chandigarh-based Advocate. He is also a member of the Governing Body of Rogi Kalyan Samiti, Gen Hospital, Sector 16, which is meant for playing a role in ensuring self-reliant hospitals in India.