Immediate Suspension Of Hospital Car Parking Charges For Healthcare Workers

87

Healthcare workers’ vehicles clamped while they work to save lives

Gino Kenny TD calls for the immediate suspension of hospital car parking charges for healthcare workers

Recent reports of healthcare workers’ cars being clamped by private car parking companies has led People Before Profit Dublin Mid-West TD, Gino Kenny, to call for the immediate suspension of car parking charges for employees working to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Kenny said: “It is utterly reprehensible that healthcare workers who are going above and beyond to care for sick and dying patients affected by the virus, are faced with the stress and cost of unclamping their vehicles after gruelling hospital shifts that often run over time.”

The Dublin Mid-West TD is responding to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation’s (INMO) recent call for immediate action on the issue as their members struggle to keep up with the growing influx of patients being tested for Covid-19 and those who are sick with the virus. Healthcare workers are now regularly working hours beyond their shifts and are finding their cars clamped when they leave.

Healthcare staff are charged up to €15 per day, usually by private car-parking companies, to park onsite but in some cases,  workers have had to pay up to €120 to have clamps removed from their cars after a particularly long shift.

Deputy Kenny said: “Last year I raised the issue of the huge amounts of money being made by private companies operating hospital car parks. I feel it is effectively a tax on sick people and their families. However, given that we are experiencing a critical public health crisis, it is obscene that healthcare workers are being subjected to this extra stress at a time when they are working so hard to save lives.

“At the very least, frontline workers and supporting staff should be entitled to park their cars free of charge on hospital property and surrounding areas. It would be easy for the HSE to issue display badges or discs for these workers. It is the very least that can be done to support them in their vital work.

“While free parking for healthcare staff is the most immediate issue, I will again be raising the significant financial burden that hospital car parking charges place on sick people and their families. Like Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, People Before Profit has been calling for the abolition of car parking charges at public hospitals for patients, staff and visitors.

“Private companies should no longer be allowed to profit from sick people attending hospital and the staff who look after them.”