26 September 2019
Risks to the safety for nurses and midwives around car parking continue to make headlines as the Adelaide City Council (ACC) this week agreed to reverse some of its recent parking control changes.
The 1 July changes reduced the duration of 1,000 North Adelaide parking spaces to two, three or four-hour parks, drawing great opposition from ANMF (SA Branch) members and staff working at hospitals and health facilities in the area.
The changes forced many hospital staff to park up to two kilometres from their workplace—a clear safety issue, particularly for those starting and finishing shifts outside of daylight hours.
ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM says the Council’s decision to revert around 350 of those parks back to the pre-1 July duration is a good start.
“We’re pleased at the decision as a first step to ensuring the safety of nurses and midwives getting to and from work in the area,” Ms Dabars says.
“Only time will tell if reinstating a third of the 1000 affected spaces will be sufficient to ensure nursing and midwifery staff can access parking spaces if and when they need it.”
The ANMF (SA Branch) congratulates those members in the North Adelaide health precinct that stood up to drive change on the issues and played a key role in the Council’s decision.
Ms Dabars says nurses and midwives across the State continue to remain at risk due a range of factors that leave them exposed to violence and aggression in and around South Australian hospitals and health centres.
“Poorly lit car parks and a lack of affordable car parking options onsite at many hospitals and health care facilities continue to pose a significant safety risk for staff.”
“The State Government is increasing the cost of car parking at Adelaide’s public hospitals by around 20 per cent from January, which will only exacerbate the safety risks to nurses and midwives, as well as patients and their family members.”
“We are very concerned that increased car parking fees will force even more nurses and midwives to park in dimly lit side streets or in areas some distance from the hospital or health care centre.”
“[Nurses and midwives] do feel vulnerable, they are scared and frightened—it’s a significant issue in terms and safety and security,” Ms Dabars told Today Tonight in a segment that aired this week.
“Every day the State Government delays committing to a plan to address violence in and around our health care settings is another day nurses and midwives remain at risk of serious injury or worse.”
Explore the Ten-Point Plan to End Violence and Aggression here