IT doesn't wear a uniform, it's not a machine nor can be bought with a prescription — but it can still save lives.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner joined Penrith state MP Stuart Ayres and other local MPs for the turning-of-the-sod ceremony for the new $23.1 million multi-storey car park at Nepean Hospital last Friday.
Scheduled to open mid next year, the six-level car park will hold 650 cars and provide parking for motorcycles and bicycles.
"There's nothing worse than if you've got a loved one who's critically ill and you're rushing for the hospital, (thinking) where am I going to park, can I park, if I find a park how am I going to get to where I need to be," Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District chief executive Kay Hyman said.
"All these things weighing heavily on the minds of the loved ones of the families, and not least also our staff, who have to work shift work and who have to arrive at the campus in the hours of darkness and sometimes leave in the hours of darkness and we need to make sure they've got a safe place to park.
"So car parking, although it may not seem it, is a very important part of health."
Ms Skinner said the new car parking facility was an invaluable addition to the $138 million Penrith campus redevelopment.
"I'd like to acknowledge all the wonderful work that's been done on this site, extending the hospital with the new wing and the mental health facility and the dental facility that's going up," Ms Skinner said.
"But now the car park, as far as I'm concerned, it's not the cream on the top, it should have been the basement but nevertheless we're there and the lessons we've learned is that in every site we do now, car parking goes first.
"It really is fundamental to access to care not only for patients but their families and also the staff that work here and deserve to have car parking that's accessible and safe."
As she prepared to grip the all-important shovel with a red bow attached to it and upheave the soil on the construction site, Ms Skinner said she was stoked to be part of the festivities.
"I'm thrilled to be here," she said.
"Let's rejoice in this development and look forward to what is going to be the completion of a wonderful health campus."