Clear stance on hospital’s car parking

FOCUS: St John of God Ballarat Hospital's chief has ensured designated car parks will be re-marked and reiterated to staff.
FOCUS: St John of God Ballarat Hospital's chief has ensured designated car parks will be re-marked and reiterated to staff.

ST JOHN of God Ballarat Hospital is taking action on car parking after a war veteran found doctors taking up space designated for veterans and the disabled.

The hospital has re-marked parks on its land and will reiterate to staff a clear stance on where they can leave their vehicles.

Stuart Brown, a former serviceman, said disregard for parking signs had become too common. He visits the hospital for rehabilitation two to three times each week and was noticing staff in disabled and veterans’ parks most days.

Mr Brown said he was fine to park elsewhere if others entitled to use the parks had taken a spot.

He had been concerned for people with disabilities, particularly the elderly, in being left to trek further if parks were unnecessarily taken.

St John of God Ballarat Hospital chief executive officer Alex Demidov said the parking matter was being addressed with the doctors concerned.

“The hospital’s expectation is that everyone parks in the appropriate car parks,” Mr Demidov said.

“The disabled and veterans car parks have been remarked to ensure they are more easily identified.

 “We are working with our doctors and staff to improve parking access for everyone.”

The area in focus is behind the hospital where there are four disabled car parks and two parks sign-posted for veterans. These parks are near bays for emergency vehicles with doctors’ parks nearby.

Mr Brown said council was unable to book staff not adhering to signs because the parks were on private land – the hospital’s land.

He had been concerned his initial complaints to the hospital had gone unheard, but the hospital chief confirmed to The Courier the issue was definitely being followed up.

General parking in Ballarat hospitals’ precinct was put in spotlight in June when City of Ballarat introduced new time restrictions on streets that were previously all-day parking.

St John of God Ballarat has onsite parking accessible for patients and visitors from the Drummond Street North entrance. The first 20 minutes’ parking onsite is free.