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Saturday July 4, 2009

Car jockey service at hospital

VISITORS to the Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) who often spend time searching for a parking space can now enjoy a car jockey service.

The service, dubbed the first of its kind at a hospital, has been a hit among patients and family members visiting the hospital.

All smiles: Azah receiving her car keys from the car jockey stationed at the HUKM hospital.

Private parking company, Smart Interpark Sdn Bhd, has been running the car park and valet service at the hospital for the past two years.

Company executive chairman P.Sivanyanam said the service was not just affordable but also convenient for those visiting the hospital.

On the charges, he explained that customers were charged RM10 for the jockey service, which also included the parking charges for the first three hours.

“Subsequently it is only RM1 for every additional hour, making this service very affordable,” he said.

“A driver just has to drive up to our counter in front of the main lobby and leave the car keys with our personnel,” he said, adding that the company also provided insurance coverage for the vehicles.

Company chief operating officer Mursitin Abdul Karim said although there were 500 parking bays at the hospital, the space was not sufficient and that they have to station personnel to regulate traffic.

“About 3,000 cars enter the hospital grounds daily and there is a difficulty in parking space resulting in patients and loved ones being forced to spend a lot of time finding a parking space, or they simply give up and park outside the hospital.

“Based on our experience, being in the car park business for 25 years now, we can expect to see a jump of 20-30% in car volume every five years. Which means the situation will only get worse in the future unless steps are taken soon.

“In view of this, we have to send a proposal to the HUKM hospital management, awaiting approval to build a multi-storey car park,” he said.

Meanwhile, several customers met at the hospital expressed satisfaction with the jockey service provided at the hospital.

Azah Azizan, 32, a businesswoman said it was her first time using the service and she found it to be good and would recommend it to others.

“I often bring my three children for their medical checks here and have to park my car outside the hospital grounds and walk in, which is very tiring especially with three children,” she added.

Another customer Azizah Ibrahim, 40, who brings her mother to the hospital fortnightly, has nothing but praise for the service, which she has been using for more than a year now.

“The price for their service is reasonable. Besides finding a parking space for me, their friendly jockeys are helpful and courteous.

“I believe this service can be expanded to all other government hospitals,” she said.

The service is available from Monday to Friday between 8am and 3pm and sees at least 40 cars using the service daily.

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