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healthcare workers

Healthcare workers still paying for hospital parking despite HSE order to waive all fees

Last Thursday, the HSE confirmed that parking charges for staff in hospitals and healthcare facilities are to be immediately suspended.

A HEALTHCARE WORKER at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin has said some staff are being charged €15 to park for the day because of a lack of designated spaces.

The campus operates a policy whereby a certain number of spaces are allocated to staff. Due to the high number of healthcare workers now on site, there are also a designated number of spaces allocated in the multi-storey car park on the hospital’s grounds which are usually for visitors. 

However, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been an increased demand for  spaces required by staff. Restrictions at the hospital mean that there are a significant number of spaces which are now free which would usually be designated for visitors or outpatients. 

A full day’s parking in these spots cost €15 a day. Healthcare workers are now being charged this when the staff spots are full. 

The parking at the campus is outsourced to multi-national firm APCOA.

One healthcare worker who contacted said: “The staff car park at St Vincent’s University Hospital is run by private firm. It normally offers some of its places in the multi-storey car park at a reduced for staff (€3/day). There is a normal rate for visitors or outpatients €15/day. Once reduced places are gone staff have to pay €15 for their car whilst they complete shift – fair enough policy.

“Today, I got to the car park – it’s half empty as there are no visitors. I was told the staff places were full and was charged €15 to park my car for the day.”

The healthcare worker described this as “an absolute disgrace”.

Both the Novartis drug company and St Michael’s school are nearby. They have been offering as many car parking spaces to staff as they can accommodate.

However, the staff who spoke to said that they did not want to walk long distances away from the hospital campus after their shifts.

Last Thursday, the HSE confirmed that parking charges for staff in hospitals and healthcare facilities are to be immediately suspended for the duration of the Covid-19 coronavirus emergency. 

There have been a number of reports in recent days of healthcare workers at hospitals having their cars clamped while they were working overtime. 

HSE CEO Paul Reid said in a statement last week that he has been “overwhelmed by the dedication, support and professionalism” of all staff in helping to contact the Covid-19 outbreak to date. 

“I have directed today that all hospitals and healthcare facilities suspend parking charges for staff for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis, as a small mark of our gratitude for their efforts,” he said. contacted both St Vincent’s Hospital and APCOA regarding the charges. 

APCOA said in a statement: “APCOA has no control over parking charges applied in the hospital car park.  This is purely a policy matter for the hospital themselves and the revenue accrued goes into hospital funds.   

“We would point out also that at this time of national emergency, APCOA is not enforcing clamping at hospital car parks or car parks at COVID-19 testing centres.”

A St Vincent’s spokeswoman said: “Since Monday 23rd March,  a system of free parking in designated car parks (on and off site) for healthcare staff during the Covid-19 emergency has been introduced in St Vincent’ s University Hospital in line with advice from the HSE.  

“There is a limited number of car spaces on our campus. We have an allocation of free staff car park spaces on the campus car parks as well as a designated number of spaces for visitors. When all staff spaces are occupied on the campus car parks,  free spaces are also available in a number of offsite car parks in the local area exclusively for our staff.”

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