LETTER – Hospital staff needs community’s help on parking issue

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

I AM WRITING TO SHED LIGHT on the current staff parking situation at Royal Inland Hospital. I would like to start with a letter I wrote out of frustration at an already touchy subject. Currently, all parking at RIH is free, yet we, the staff are not allowed to park in the parking lot. We have nowhere to park that is safely lit and less than a 20-minute walk away.

Since my letter was published my Mel Rothenburger on his Armchair Mayor page, Impark has been ticketing and even towing staff without a pass from the staff parking lot. This has led to a very toxic feeling among staff as it is hard to think the two aren’t linked.

Feeling that management and Impark care so little about their staff and would stoop to such a degree of bullying is turning nurses away from our already understaffed hospital. You would think that in the middle of a global pandemic we, the ones on the front lines, would be coveted and well taken care of, shown kindness and consideration. Nope. Not at RIH. Every day is a struggle and stressful to try to find a spot to park, taking into consideration that you will be walking back in the dark.

Yesterday, I drove through our parkade around noon. It was a ghost town. It was a ghost town because there are currently no visitors allowed at the hospital and any diagnostics that can be done elsewhere are encouraged.

I then drove to where all the staff are forced to park and the Columbia Street parking was backed up to 13th Avenue — a 27-minute walk, according to Google Maps. Not only is that a far walk to and from the hospital in the dark, but I wonder how the residents along those blocks feel about us parking there, blocking all available parking.

I wrote my letter not to complain but to search for a solution. We are not asking for free parking! Just a consistent, available place to park! There are many solutions to this problem. Offsite parking with a shuttle service works for other hospitals. Blocking a few floors of the parkade for designated staff parking would also help to ease the problem.

Instead, we are, in a roundabout way, told to stop complaining and start carpooling, busing or find a parkade somewhere. None of these are solutions. They are just another way of saying “Not our problem” to our staff.

2020 was meant to be “The Year of the Nurse” and here we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Staff are tired, we are working in such a stressful time and environment already — this really will be the straw that will break the proverbial camel’s back.

It makes us wonder when this will become a newsworthy issue. Probably when it’s too late and one of us has been seriously hurt or worse. We need your help to shed some attention on this issue. Being compliant and taking the blows isn’t working any longer.

The staff at RIH need your help — we need the community’s help. We don’t need banging on pots and pans, this is a real chance to show your appreciation for showing up. Showing up to take care of you, take care of your loved ones, deliver your babies, hold your loved one’s hand in lieu of family who aren’t allowed, heal your friend. All we ask to do this job is a place to park!!!


About Mel Rothenburger (9052 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

8 Comments on LETTER – Hospital staff needs community’s help on parking issue

  1. But then again the question should be: Is tying up all that expensive real estate (so one can park the darn automobile generally with just one person in it) the best use of resources?

  2. The old parkade is designated for staff is it not?

  3. Jennie Stadnichuk // November 27, 2020 at 10:15 PM // Reply

    I totally agree with this nurse’s letter and both comments in support. Let’s get smart and show our appreciation : Impark and RIH Management.

  4. Ian MacKenzie // November 27, 2020 at 10:50 AM // Reply

    I am confused that “Currently, all parking at RIH is free”, because we’ve never found it to be free, but in all other respects this letter is dead on. I have had to take my wife to the hospital at various times on several days since Covid hit this spring and every time we’ve driven through the parking lot we’ve commented on how deserted the lower levels are and have wondered why the staff aren’t allowed free parking. Surely front liners should have a reserved section sealed off for them considering the ridiculous premium on parking in this city.

  5. Where do the managers and the parking enforcement people park?

  6. Can you please tell me what the old parkade is being used fir? I thought it was for staff parking

  7. R Marcus Lowe // November 27, 2020 at 7:55 AM // Reply

    Wow! That is totally f**ked. No mining operation in the world has this problem. Why?

  8. Pretty unreal this is happening. Leadership failure on many fronts is the first thought. Hopefully our caring and capable mayor can intervene with a firm hand, even if this issue is perhaps slightly out of his immediate realm of responsibilities.
    That their union has not fixed this issue long ago is perplexing and troubling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: