Today, I called on the Minister for Health to support the Irish Cancer Society’s ongoing campaign to reduce exorbitant hospital car parking prices by issuing parking pricing guideline.
I was disappointed to see that the Irish Cancer Society’s ongoing campaign to change hospital car parking pricing policies has had little success this year.
I’ve previously called for guidelines for reduced parking rates to be rolled cover families of all long-term illness patients, including cancer patients. Long-term illness patients and their families are under immense pressure physically, financially and emotionally, day and night. One particular case I heard of, involved the wife of a cancer patient spending €1,200 on hospital parking over a period of 6 months.
This is an area where improvements can clearly be made, as demonstrated by the NHS in the UK. The NHS has issued guidelines to hospitals ordering that certain patients be provided with free parking or concession prices in order to reduce the pressure put on patients and their families enduring regular hospital visits.
Hospital car parking can become even more of a financial burden as some patients may have to stop work due to their illness.
We need to listen to their needs and, were possible – assist them.
There are a number of Irish hospitals that already offer concession prices or free car parking to cancer patients, hence there is no reason why it can’t be rolled out across the board!
As such, I am again calling on the Minister to consider issuing car parking pricing guidelines, for cancer and long-term illness patients, to hospitals nationwide.”