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Royal Melbourne Hospital ICU doctor gets parking fine revoked as council apologises – 9News

The City of Melbourne has revoked a parking fine issued to an ICU doctor working on the coronavirus frontline.

Exhausted Royal Melbourne Hospital doctor Katarina Arandjelovic was shocked to find a $99 parking ticket on her car dashboard when she left the hospital at 10pm yesterday.

In a series of tweets directed to Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sally Capp and the City of Melbourne, Dr Arandjelovic revealed she had worked at least 56 hours over the last four days as she cared for “some of the state’s sickest patients”.

The doctor received a $99 ticket after her shift.
The doctor received a $99 ticket after her shift. (Twitter)

“We make sacrifices and turn up – day in, day out, to serve you,” Dr Arandjelovic wrote.

“So I guess @cityofmelbourne and @SallyCapp_, slapping fines on our cars is one hell of a thank you.”

In a later tweet, she asked Ms Capp and the council who they thought was parking in the streets near the hospital during lockdown.

“It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks,” she wrote.

“So when you send a parking inspector to Parkville, know that it is these people you are targeting.”

Premier Daniel Andrews today said he did not think it was appropriate for doctors to get a parking ticket during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t think that someone who’s in there literally saving lives at considerable risk to themselves should be the subject of a parking ticket,” he said.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital Emergency entrance viewed at street level, from Royal Parade
The Royal Melbourne Hospital Emergency entrance viewed at street level, from Royal Parade (Marcus Ferraro/ The Age)

The City of Melbourne later apologised to the frontline worker on Twitter, saying they had withdrawn the fine.

“Sorry we missed the mark on this tweet. Given your critical role, we have withdrawn the fine. Royal Melbourne Hospital is being provided with additional frontline worker permits. Please grab one! We have given out 8000 so far to nurses and doctors.

“People who have these are not booked unless they are parking in areas with red signs which will still be enforced to protect safety and access.”

The council had earlier indicated they would not retract the fine.

“Hi Katarina, vehicles parked in residential parking areas with red signs are still subject to restrictions,” the City of Melbourne account wrote on Twitter.

“We recognise the invaluable work our health workers are doing, that’s why we’ve issued 9900 parking passes to frontline workers, including to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.”

The council also provided her with a link to appeal the fine.

The doctor replied: “Your ‘free permits’ are long gone. There were too few to begin with. Many missed out.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp today announced the City of Melbourne would provide 5000 additional temporary parking permits to frontline workers responding to COVID-19 from this Friday.

The new passes mean that up to 15,000 permits would have been issued to frontline workers in total.

Royal Melbourne Hospital
A sign directing people to the COVID-19 screening area is posted outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty)

“Health workers are doing an amazing job at this difficult time. We understand they are playing a critical role saving the lives of many Victorians who have been diagnosed with COVID-19,” she said.

“We are printing thousands more green dashboard stickers to support frontline staff responding to the pandemic.

“If you believe you got a ticket when you shouldn’t have please get in touch with the City of Melbourne and we will follow up.”

The extra permits would be made available to hospitals based in the City of Melbourne, Victoria Police, and medical staff working in other COVID-19 related areas.

Doctor’s bike stolen day before stage four lockdown

Photo of Epping Gardens senior home workers , unloading gear from a truck, in Epping on Monday 27 July 2020. Photo Luis Enrique Ascui (Luis Enrique Ascui/The Age)

“The day before lockdown, my bike was stolen from outside this hospital,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Public transport is off-limits to prevent exposure to the virus, and transmission to colleagues and patients.

“We cannot work from home. We come here, and we sweat it out under our gowns, our voices muffled under masks, learning to ‘smile with our eyes’.

“We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic.

“We do not see our families for weeks.”

Hospital nursing staff assist people lining up for COVID-19 screening outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital  on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Getty Images)
Hospital nursing staff assist people lining up for COVID-19 screening outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Luis Ascui/Getty Images) (Getty)

There are 1185 active COVID-19 cases in health care workers in Victoria.

Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348.
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