Sick and ailing are ‘too lazy’ to walk to the hospital
MACKAY Hospital and Health Service Board chairman Colin Meng doesn't believe there is a problem with parking at Mackay Base Hospital.
In fact, he believes the issue lies with "lazy" residents who don't want to walk a few hundred metres to the hospital.
"I suppose parking is an issue at any building site," Mr Meng said. "But I've done some checking.
"Our car park hasn't been full in recent times."
Before Christmas last year the hospital leased a block of land with 100 car spaces across from the hospital to alleviate parking issues caused by the hospital redevelopment, but Mr Meng would not say how long the lease was for.
"This is a typical people of Mackay thought - that they won't walk," he said.
And Mr Meng wasn't sympathetic to those who may be too unwell or unable to walk the distance to the hospital.
"If they're unwell there is a parking space at the emergency centre," he said.
But this space is limited for 10 minutes.
"It is a limited time but they get dropped off; if they're that sick they wouldn't be driving," Mr Meng said.
While parking still seems to be an issue for residents, when the Daily Mercury visited Mackay Base Hospital yesterday there were about 30 car spaces available at about 1pm.
Mr Meng admitted work at the hospital was "at its worst" at present with about "300 contractors on site at the moment".
When the car park was full, Mr Meng said, there was plenty of street parking available but residents didn't want to walk.
"If someone is that lazy then we have a major problem in this town," he said.
"It doesn't matter if it's the City Heart or the hospital.
"As an ex-mayor I can tell you that's exactly what's going on in this town."