'Enough is enough': Regina nurse pleads for parking changes at hospital
Regina nurse, Karly Simpson, has a stressful job. But before she can even do her job, she has to worry about getting there.
“(I’m) constantly thinking about parking, thinking about where I’m going to move, thinking about how I’m going to get home or how am I going to get to my car,” Simpson said.
Simpson has worked at the Regina General Hospital for 10 years. She said, during that time, she has always dealt with a frustrating parking situation. So, on Tuesday, she took her frustrations to Facebook.
In less than 24 hours, the post was shared more than 1,300 times.
“I kind of thought, enough is enough, as we have done this before, over and over again,” she said.
Simpson has long been on the wait list for a staff parking spot, but she said she remains among 1,400 people in line. She has tried to park in the two-hour limit parking spaces on the nearby streets, but ended up getting numerous tickets.
“It's not possible for us to leave the bedside every two hours,” Simpson said. “We're lucky to get a break most days at all, to even eat or go to the bathroom.”
And Simpson said visitor parking isn't an option.
“We're prohibited from being in there without being ticketed or towed,” she said.
Dale Orban, the manager of security services with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said hospital staff should use the 'Park & Ride' service whenever possible.
“We have capacity after hours, we have capacity on weekends. We struggle through Monday through Friday for on-site parking,” Orban said. “Monday through Friday, we have the ‘Park & Ride’ service.”
But, that service only runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Simpson said that doesn’t accommodate some shift workers.
Simpson now tries to park several blocks away, but those spots are limited and come with safety concerns.
“I have people that I know who have been attacked, I’ve heard of tons of people. Now, we have the vandalism, where, whoever it is, is running around and banging out windows,” she said. “It doesn't make you feel super safe to come here.”
CTV reached out to the City of Regina for an on-camera interview, but the request was met with the statement, “The city currently provides two hour on-street parking around the Regina General Hospital in an effort to ensure parking availability for visitors to the hospital. Due to high demand for these spaces, installation of parking meters in the two-hour zone is being proposed in the 2019 budget."
Additionally, the health authority said it is looking for ways to improve their ‘Park & Ride’ services.
“We'll make changes as necessary. If it has to go later in the evening, we'll do that. If we have to have more shuttles, we'll do that,” said Orban.
But, until that happens, Simpson said she'll keep pushing for a change.
“We don't want it free. We don't want any special treatment,” Simpson said. “We just want somewhere to park.”