Why MNH introduces parking fee

DAR ES SALAAM : INTRODUCTION of parking fee at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) has massively reduced traffic congestion at the national health facility.

According to MNH Executive Director, Professor Mohamed Janabi, a driver who will spend four hours at the hospital parking lot will be required to pay 1,000/-.

Prof Janabi told the ‘Sunday News’ in an exclusive interview that a driver who will spend less than half an hour will not be charged.

Prof Janabi said MNH introduced the parking fees purposely to reduce the number of cars entering the hospital and not collecting revenues.

“The hospital has introduced a parking fee in efforts to reduce the number of vehicles being parked at the hospital area because some drivers have been leaving their vehicles within the hospital’s compound while they don’t have anything to do with the hospital.” he said.

He said the aim of introducing the parking fee is not to collect revenue but rather to make sure that people who come with patients get ample space to park their vehicles.

The MNH boss said before the hospital introduced the fee last month, more than 3,000 vehicles were parking at the hospital everyday while the hospital’s parking capacity is 240 cars only.

“After I assumed the position here at MNH, we conducted a study in November and December, during which we found a total of 3,400 cars were entering the hospital’s compound per day while the hospital’s parking capacity is 240 cars,” he added.

Prof Janabi noted that after the research, they learnt that the hospital parking had turned into a parking for online tax drivers.

“For instance, we carried out a research by trying to request an online tax transport and whenever we did that the online taxi driver responded to picked up within a minute. What does it mean? It means that drivers were parking their cars within the hospital’s area,” he revealed.

Moreover, he said the MNH also found that some workers from other neighbouring areas were also using the hospital parking as public parking.

Adding: “Workers from other places in the neighbourhoods have been parking their cars here in the morning before heading to their workplaces and come to pick them in the evening ready for returning home.”

According to Prof Janabi, the practice by other people to use the hospital parking, including online tax drivers   posed serious challenge for those who were bringing patients to the facility for medical services and MNH staff.

“Since we introduced the fee one month ago the number of cars has decreased significantly at the hospital parking and the facility now has sufficient breathing space.” Prof Janabi said.

In a related development, he said the MNH has also successfully reduced overcrowding at the hospital, a measure taken for the objective of improving services and preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as airborne diseases.

He said the number of people arriving at the facility to visit patients has been reduced. Currently one patient is seen by two people in the morning, one person in the afternoon and two in the evening.

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