by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Finding parking at the Guam Memorial Hospital could get even more difficult in the next few weeks. Solutions for the parking at GMH have stalled and could result in more frustration for members of the public visiting loved ones at the hospital.
Finding a parking space at the Guam Memorial Hospital at any given time can be quite the challenge. Residents visiting loved ones find themselves playing the waiting game in the hospital parking lot. One such island neighbor said, "We came earlier it took us like 20 minutes to find parking going around. So right now took my chances coming up again and I stopped and just waited for someone to get out."
Another estimated their wait, as, "About 20 minutes. It' very hard to park here...sometimes you can't even find parking for the disabled. It's frustrating. My husband is undergoing surgery so we're lucky we came early this morning that's how we got a parking." When asked how long it normally takes her to find a parking slot, one woman told KUAM News, "Oh my gosh - it seems forever like an hour or two."
The situation is even more frustrating for the hundreds of hospital employees who try to find parking each day especially nurses that are coming to work in the afternoon. 10,000 people walk through the doors of GMH on a daily basis. With only 500 parking stalls with the ongoing emergency room expansion construction project, things are only going to get more congested.
Hospital chief of environmental services Gordon Mizusawa says decals for hospital employees and physicians have been ordered. Beginning November 30, he anticipates that all employees will be signed up and using the decals to park in designated areas.
Mizusawa says there will be 400 employee parking stalls as well as designated stalls for physicians and individuals with disabilities. That leaves only 50 stalls for residents who are visiting sick loved ones, delivering babies, attending viewings of those who have passed on, or going to the emergency room. Those caught parking in employee parking will be towed away.
"Might as well not be in the hospital if it's it like that," the female we spoke to stated about the plans. "Come in as an emergency in an ambulance."
Residents will have to find parking in adjacent areas that are on private lots or run the risk of getting a parking ticket from police. Misuzawa says the hospital has no other choice as there is no vacant land or funding for additional employee parking.