Hospital Car Parking Costs Need to be Reduced and Streamlined

Today, I called for the reduction and streamlining of exorbitant hospital car parking costs.
Many relatives of patients with long term illnesses are being forced to fork out exorbitant costs for hospital car parking. I was dismayed to hear of a case of the wife of a cancer patient who had to pay €1,200 on hospital car parking in Beaumount Hospital over the course of her husband’s six month stay.
“The price for hospital parking outside Crumlin Children’s hospital over the same time period works out at €250 approx.
When you take shorter term stays into consideration- a 3 hour stay in Tallaght Hospital will cost €7.50 – this is almost twice what Christmas shoppers will pay in the Square Shopping Centre – a mere stones’ throw from the hospital.
According to a recent report by The Irish Cancer society – Dublin Hospitals are the most expensive with a four hour stay costing €8.86 on average . Munster Hospitals cost approximately €6.70 for a four hour stay on average
Meanwhile, only seven of the 27 cancer treatment hospitals offer weekly discounted car parking rates.
A recent age action article researched and produced a report on the experience of older people of outpatient services in University Hospital Galway. Some 68% said they found car parking charges excessive.
Paying such high rates on a regular basis adds financial pressure to families and patients who are already under significant physical and psychological stress. Although a discounted rate of car parking is offered to relatives of long term patients in some hospitals, in my view it is not enough.
As such, I am calling on the Minister for Health to distribute car parking guidelines- similar to what the NHS has done in the UK – to reduce and streamline the cost of parking for long term illness patients and their families.

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