Fine Gael Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill and Fine Gael Councillor Vicki Casserly met with Minister Heather Humphreys today to discuss the costs and challenges for parents of children in hospital.
Deputy Carroll MacNeill, who represents Dún Laoghaire, said: “I’m very grateful to Minister Humphreys and her team for meeting with me and Cllr Vicki Casserly this afternoon to discuss the costs of having a child in hospital faced by Irish families.
“Parents with children in hospital face a range of practical challenges, in addition to the medical issues faced by their children. Increased expenses, multi-discipline clinical coordination and time away from work and family are frequently the biggest issues.
“For example, according to the Childhood Illness, Financial Stress. The Hidden Costs of Hospital Care for Children Report, €47 is spent by parents on food every day their child is in hospital.
“There are also the costs of parking, additional childcare, reduced income from reducing working and for many additional accommodation costs. Some of this can be alleviated by improved hospital coordination.
“Cllr Casserly and I want to try to help reduce some of these practical problems through our engagement with a range of hospital and government stakeholders, and we began that with our conversation with Minister Humphreys today.”
Speaking following this afternoon’s meeting, Cllr Vicki Casserly said: “I know and understand the challenges that come with having a sick child in hospital. I am committed to ensuring we do our best to alleviate some of the unnecessary stresses during these challenging times.”
Deputy Carroll MacNeill and Cllr Casserly are looking to engage directly with families affected by this issue.
Deputy Carroll MacNeill concluded: “We hope to hear from other parents affected to help inform our work on this issue. We will be holding an online seminar to facilitate this discussion, and if you are a parent that is affected by this issue, please do get in touch with us.”