Title: Basurto Hospital Closes Parking Lot for New Faculty of Medicine and Nursing
Subtitle: Healthcare professionals face challenges finding parking alternatives
By Borja Guerrero
The Basurto hospital in Bilbao has closed its parking lot to make way for the construction of a new Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, a project undertaken by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Since the 1st of July, staff members have been finding it more difficult to commute to work with their cars, as the triangular parking lot where they used to park free of charge has been closed indefinitely.
The hospital parking lot, which could accommodate around 250 vehicles, had been a prominent parking spot for doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel. Additionally, reserved spaces were available for relatives who needed to accompany patients to the hospital. However, the decision to close the parking lot has disrupted their daily routines.
Despite the closure coinciding with the summer months, during which the demand for parking is lower due to vacations, some challenges have arisen. According to Inmaculada Izcoa, President of the Business Committee of the Basurto Hospital, there have been queues forming at the alternative Capuchinos parking lot, resulting in congestion during the shift change in the mornings. In certain cases, access tunnels through San Mamés had to be temporarily closed due to vehicle congestion.
Hospital management has assured that these specific issues have been resolved and that the 200 spaces at the Gurtubay car park will be sufficient to cover the reduced demand for parking during July and August. However, healthcare professionals are already seeking alternative parking solutions near the hospital, given the scarcity of parking spaces in the area and the increasing prices. Some are reportedly asking for up to 120 euros a month for a garage space.
To address the parking reduction, ongoing negotiations are taking place between the Department of Health and the Intermodal Bilbao rotary parking company. The aim is to secure approximately a hundred parking spaces for hospital staff starting in September. Additionally, the hospital management has encouraged employees to explore park-and-ride facilities provided by Metro Bilbao in Anisio, Etxebarri, Ibarbengoa, and Leioa, as well as other public transportation options like Bizkaibus, Euskotren, and Renfe.
While these measures may alleviate the parking shortage to some extent, Inmaculada Izcoa expresses doubts about their long-term effectiveness, particularly when the entire workforce is fully back to work in September. The impact of the parking reduction on hospital operations will become more evident at that time.
The negotiations with Intermodal Bilbao and the promotion of public transportation are part of the hospital’s efforts to find viable solutions to the parking challenge. The Basurto hospital management is committed to ensuring that its staff can commute conveniently and efficiently, even with the closure of the parking lot that previously catered to their needs.
In conclusion, as the Basurto hospital focuses on the construction of a new Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, healthcare professionals face challenges in finding suitable alternatives for parking. Ongoing negotiations and the promotion of public transportation aim to ease the burden on staff and mitigate the impact on hospital operations.