Visitor resorts to arrivng before 4am and sleeping in car to overcome problem

KLANG: While the 1,261-bed Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital here may be good for medical treatment, it is a nightmare for patients and visitors who are irked by the severe shortage of parking spaces.

A nurse, who wanted to be known as Izzie, 28, said she was forced to park over 1km away and walk to the hospital whenever she was on duty.

“The hospital keeps expanding, but staff parking is not given enough attention. It’s tiring to walk this distance twice a day, and it makes me angry at times. It seems like the hospital is not bothered about staff welfare.”

Another staff, who wanted to be known as Mohamad, 41, said parking has been a long-standing issue among them and even though the hospital has added new medical blocks, their complaints have not been addressed.

“It’s just as bad for visitors and patients as there is inadequate parking for them as well. As hospital staff, we sympathise with them, but there is little we can do because we are not the decision-makers.”

Factory supervisor Thinakaran Chillayah, 49, whose mother-in-law is warded at the hospital, said parking is almost impossible.

“On my off days, I drive here before 4am and sleep in my car as my wife stays with her mother at the hospital.

“I notice some nurses also coming in at that hour to park and rest in their cars. The hospital has grown over the years, but parking is haphazard in most areas. Some motorists park in front of other cars and leave their phone numbers inside near the windshield.

“Sometimes, they can’t be reached when called, causing the motorist, who is blocked, to waste precious time trying to contact them.”

Another family member of a patient who wanted to be known as Ong, 54, said he is also fed up with the parking problem at the hospital.

“This has been going on for years. I don’t know if anyone cares about our parking issues as it seems to be falling on deaf ears. From what I know, many visitors park their cars at nearby housing estates and even in town before taking a call taxi to the hospital.”

The hospital was established at its current location in Jalan Langat in 1985, with just a single block. Over the years, new blocks and specialist units were added. It is learnt that the hospital has about 1,000 parking spaces for visitors and 800 for staff within its premises.

In 2022, it received a total of 311,291 patients at its specialist outpatient clinics. The number grew exponentially when it recorded 339,803 patients at these clinics in 2023. The hospital received 492,079 outpatients in total the same year.

It is also a referral hospital for 12 health clinics, 12 Klinik Desa, and two community clinics in Klang City, apart from district hospitals in Banting and Shah Alam, and areas such as Kuala Langat and Kuala Selangor, which accounts for the distressing parking woes.

On May 12, theSun reached out to the Health Ministry through its corporate communications unit to ask director-general Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan about the parking situation and the ministry’s plans to overcome the issue.

Since it was Sunday, a WhatsApp message was also sent to a senior officer in the unit, drawing her attention to the email and that a reply was required on or before May 15. There was no reply to this message.

On May 15, theSun received a call from another officer, requesting more time until May 17 as the ministry was still preparing its answers. However, it has since gone silent with no reply forthcoming till press time.