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Doctors' yellow cards - The Sunday Times - 12/8/2004

Dr Michael Azzopardi, St Venera.

http://www.timesofmalta.com/core/article.php?id=161243



A few years ago, we doctors were issued with yellow cards by the Police Commissioner, authorising us to park in restricted areas while doing our home visits; this card was a blessing for us, as it enabled us to do home visits in areas where normal parking is impossible.

However, to my horror, I was recently informed by a local council tribunal commissioner that he does not give a hoot about these yellow cards, fining the doctors just the same as, according to him, the Police Commissioner has no right to give permission for anyone to break the law, be it a doctor or James Bond!

I feel that this matter should be clarified by the authorities as soon as possible: can we, doctors, park with impunity while doing our rounds and using the yellow cards, or are we being taken for a ride by the Police Commissioner trapping us into a false sense of security?

We are reading of several instances where people are being booked unjustly by wardens: We read recently of a car which has been garaged (and with the licence plates returned to the police) for several months, and yet it was booked by a warden who saw it committing a crime in our roads!

We hear of people who are booked while being in some other place other than the one where they were booked; we also hear of Gozitans who are booked in Malta even though they were in Gozo at the time.

In such cases the victim has two options: either pay the fine which he was unjustly given, or else skip work for a whole afternoon (and in the case of Gozitans a whole day) to be able to contest the matter. So, as one can see, the citizen is always a loser. To add insult to injury, the wardens (or the company employing them) giving out these false accusations are never made to pay any penalties.

It seems that we citizens have become enmeshed in a Mafia-style net of arrogance and deceit. To whom could we turn for retribution - to the Minister of Justice, or is there some new Minister of Injustice?

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MAM comment -

MAM has in the past threatened a number of councils who practice such policies - to withdraw the "house call" service.

This had an excellent therapeutic effect on the councils involved.

GP practicing in such areas are encouraged to inform MAM of such behaviour by local councils so that it can take the necessary steps

Martin Balzan



 
 
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