Finding a place to park at many businesses in South Florida can be difficult. But a group of doctors said they're dealing with a parking emergency at a local hospital.
If you travel to Kendall Regional Medical Center during the week, you'll often find the parking garage full, cars parked illegally on the sidewalk and on the grass near the building's main entrance. The NBC 6 Investigators saw a truck driver back into a car as he was trying to park on the sidewalk across the street from the hospital.
Johanna Miranda parked three blocks away and walked her baby daughter to the hospital to be treated for a fever. "It's terrible, terrible," said Miranda.
"The parking situation has been critical," said Dr. Sandra Gotman.
Dr. Gotman is a podiatrist who works in the medical office building on Kendall Regional Medical Center campus. She said she receives at least two calls a day from patients saying they can't find a place to park.
"I'm already coming in to work thinking how many patients will call today to cancel because of the parking," Dr. Gotman said.
She's one of about a dozen doctors who work in the medical office building who are meeting together to try to find ways to fix the problem. They said their medical practices are in jeopardy due to the amount of patients cancelling services due to the parking situation. They're now consulting with an attorney to figure out what their legal options are to get more parking for patients.
"The patients are suffering because we're not seeing them," said Dr. George Pimiento, a gynecologist who works on campus.
The doctors said parking has never been easy but the current hospital expansion that's underway right now is making it especially difficult for drivers. They claim the problem has reached a boiling point over the last year.
Miami-Dade Officials with the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources said the hospital actually has about two hundred more parking spaces than the minimum law requires. County officials reviewed hospital blueprints for the expansion in 2015. The number of parking spots a hospital is required to have is based on the number of hospital beds and office space on the property.
"How an individual business operates its own parking and manages their own parking is something we don't control at this level," said Nathan Kogon of the Dept. of Regulatory and Economic Resources.
Hospital administrators wouldn't comment on camera about the issue. They told the NBC 6 Investigators parking is a top priority and they are planning a new parking garage that is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2017. A hospital spokesperson released this statement:
"Kendall Regional Medical Center is a fast growing regional teaching hospital. We are continually looking at ways to improve services and our patients' experience. Currently, we are focused on enhancing parking on campus. Over the past year we have added additional valet parking stations and now have three stations located throughout the campus. We now also have employee parking off site, to increase the availability of on campus parking for patients, visitors and physicians. Additionally, we have started the design process to construct a new parking garage, which should be completed by the 4th quarter 2017."
Some doctors said their practices can't wait that long for a parking remedy.
"It's a little too late," Dr. Gotman said.