Fine Gael Dublin Senator Catherine Noone today (Thursday) called on Government to support the Irish Cancer Society’s ongoing campaign to reduce exorbitant hospital car parking prices by issuing a parking pricing guideline, similar to the one issued by the NHS in the UK.
“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 here, similar to that produced by the NHS in the UK, in order to ease the burden for families of 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 guidelines for hospitals advise that certain priority groups be given free or reduced parking in order to reduce the financial burden on patients and their families during long hospital stays with regular visitation.
“The financial burden of hospital car parking is often made worse by the fact that some patients may have to stop work due to their illness. We need to listen to their needs and, where possible – assist them.
“Any such guidelines could also include reduced parking for hospital staff who work shifts and cannot avail of public transport due to working late hours.
“A number of Irish hospitals already offer concession prices or free car parking to cancer patients. I really welcome this and it just goes to show there is no reason why this can’t be rolled out across the board!”