There’s a shortage of space everywhere in GMC but nowhere is it more acute than near the Orthopaedic and Physiotherapy OPDs which are at the opposite side of the parking area. (Pic 6)
Considering the nature of the services provided — Orthopaedics and Physiotherapy — it is obvious that most patients cannot walk, or even stand or crawl without assistance. People come with patients who need wheelchairs or stretchers.
In the first place the Physiotherapy department has one — just one — wheelchair. Ortho has five or six — again far short of what is needed. So if someone comes here with a patient, they have to come with a third person who will go find a spare wheelchair while the driver waits in the car as there is no parking anywhere in this section. (The few parking slots available are reserved for doctors — or those claiming to be doctors. I think security should demand identification or else they should refuse.)
The few slots which are supposed to be visitor’s slots are grossly inadequate. Double and triple parking is the norm, blocking others. (Pic 7) No security check is done. Tourist cabs (and sometimes auto rickshaws) park here hoping for customers. There should be some system where by the taxis are allotted space and a counter calls them as and when there is a requirement.
Even those who bring their own wheelchairs struggle. Once they get the wheelchair out and put the patient in the wheelchair, then what? They can’t leave their cars blocking everyone. There’s hardly room for vehicles to turn in the drop-of
f zone as it is. So they have to leave the patient there and drive away to find parking. Some may be lucky enough to find parking in the parking lot. In that case the patient will have to wait a mere 15 or 20 minutes. If, as has happened to me every day for the last few weeks, there is no parking available, the hapless attendant has to drive outside the hospital, park half a kilometre or more away, along the side of the road, and walk back — leaving the patient waiting for a good 20-30 minutes at times.
Often no space is available even to stop and move a patient on a stretcher or a wheel chair comfortably, as apart from doctors vehicles, almost every day a blood bank bus is parked, obstructing vehicles trying to drop off patients to the physiotherapy plastic surgery orthopaedic and other wards including MRI, CT SCAN, etc.
The limited parking slots for doctors in this area often results in arguments between the security and doctors from GMC who prefer to park wherever they want.
I suggested a ID card to be issued to GMC staff or a sticker on their vehicles.
The designated parking lot is an unpaved dusty area. Parking slots are not demarcated, so people park haphazardly, often blocking others. (Pic 8) Unfortunately it is the only option and you will find it full almost always, unless you come early in the morning.
Questioning the guards reveals that the vehicles in the parking lot are often parked by owners who come early in the morning, park their vehicles and go elsewhere. I suggest someone must be made responsible to sit and note down vehicles entering and exiting so as to track vehicles using GMC as a free, all-day parking lot.
The entrance to the parking area says IN but vehicles also exit through the same narrow entrance. (Pic 9) This is because (according to the guards) the exit gate has to be kept closed (Pic 10) because some local goons have threatened to beat them up as they want the area around the gate free for their own parking needs. I don’t know how true this is but either the board with the sign IN should be removed or covered, or the police should do something useful and provide protection at the exit gate.
There is a huge tract of land behind the Yatri Niwas building where presently houses a pharmacy and space for the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana, that could be used for parking. (Pic 11)
It is about the double the size of existing parking and could be used without additional permissions from Bambolim Panchayat if the damaged/abandoned vehicles, and garbage that has piled up is cleared away!