Laois-Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has called on the Government to intervene to outlaw a number of unfair practices appearing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy Stanley outlined “that a small number of GPs and creches are currently engaged in unfair profiteering during the crisis and these practices must be legislated against if necessary.
“Over the past week I have received complaints from constituents that some GPs and creches are engaging in unfair practices.
“People have contacted me saying that creches are continuing to charge full price even though their doors are shut.
“Parents are being told that unless they continue to pay their fees their child will not have a place when the doors re-open.
“These are parents who have either recently lost their job due to the pandemic or are still working but will need to find and pay for alternative arrangements for their children.
“I’ve also been informed of GPs asking patients over the phone for their credit card details when they phone with potential Covid-19 symptoms.
“Earlier this week some GPs were charging patients an additional €30 for a Covid 19 phone consultation, despite the fact they are already being paid €30 by the Government for this consultation.
“I raised this in the Dáil with the Minister for Health this week and he confirmed that GPs should not be loading an additional charge on patients. These are hard pressed workers and families who are enduring significant stress and should not be taken advantage of.
“The Government needs to act as a matter of urgency to stamp out these sharp practices.
“If necessary, we should enact legislation to stamp out this ruthless profiteering.”