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Anger as health workers find their cars clamped after doing extra hours

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The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) is calling for immediate action following reports of healthcare workers being clamped on hospital grounds.

Due to the influx of patients being tested for Covid-19, nurses and other healthcare professionals are often working hours beyond their shift.

At many hospitals, they must pay a fee of up to €15 per day if they want to pay for onsite parking. And in several cases overtime workers have found themselves clamped and forced to pay as much as €120 to have it removed.

But some hospitals have stressed that they do not operate or receive any payment from its car parks, which are controlled by third-party companies

The INMO said it has formally raised this issue with the HSE.

"Hospital car parking charges and clamping are long-standing issues for health workers," a spokesperson said.

"We've seen reports of nurses being clamped while they're providing care at work during the coronavirus.

"Clamping nurses' cars at hospitals is exceptionally unhelpful - especially during this crisis."

In light of the controversy, Dublin City Council has said it has instructed Dublin Street Parking Services to exercise discretion when clamping cars parked in areas surrounding hospitals, the Department of Health, and HSE offices.

Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan has written to St Vincent's Hospital's chief executive requesting that parking charges be waived for healthcare workers.

After his party leader, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, said in his speech on Tuesday night that "not all heroes wear capes, some wear capes, some wear scrubs and gowns", Mr Geoghegan added "superheroes should not have to pay for parking".

A spokesperson for St Vincent's Hospital said there is an allocation of spaces reserved for staff usage at a reduced rate of €3 per day.

"Due to visiting restrictions and the decline in the number of visitors using the car park we have been able to increase the number of staff car parking spaces available," they said.

Irish Independent


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