"Hell of a thank you": Doctors targeted with parking fines

A Melbourne doctor was left furious after seeing she got a parking fine after working 56 hours over 4 days in the intensive care ward at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Anaesthetics registrar Katarina Arandjelovic tweeted early on Tuesday morning to question the fine she received on Monday night after days of work "helping look after some of our state's sickest patients".

Katarina also confirmed that her bike was stolen from outside the hospital the day before lockdown.

"Public transport is off-limits to prevent exposure to the virus, and transmission to colleagues and patients," she wrote in a series of posts directed at the City of Melbourne council on Twitter.

"Your 'free permits' are long gone. There were too few to begin with. Many missed out.

She explained that parking inspectors are inadvertently targeting frontline workers who are left with no option but to park in the streets around the hospital.

"In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital? It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks.

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

"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'," she said.

"We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic. We do not see our families for weeks.

"It is not easy, but every single person in that building is working their butt off right now. It is inspiring. We make sacrifices and turn up — day in, day out, to serve you.

"Slapping fines on our cars is one hell of a thank you."

After seeing the outpouring of support, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Cap said that Katarina's fines would be waived and that the council would provide 5,000 additional temporary parking permits to frontline workers.

"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," Cr Capp said.

The Victorian Premier was also asked about the parking fine at his daily press conference.

"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," Mr Andrews said.

The total number of parking permits issued has jumped to 15,000.

The City of Melbourne said that the allocation of temporary parking permits to frontline staff was handled by each hospital.

"We recognise the invaluable work our health workers are doing, that's why we've issued 9,900 parking passes to frontline workers, including to the Royal Melbourne Hospital," the statement said.

This article originally appeared on Over60.