Calls for Tallaght Hospital to reduce parking charges for cancer patients

by Mark O'Brien

Calls have been made for Tallaght University Hospital to reduce its car parking charges, after it emerged that the hospital has some of the highest charges in the country.

The hospital currently charges €2.50 per hour, with a maximum fee of €10 per day.

Local representatives have called for Tallaght Hospital to reduce their charges for people who will be regularly visiting hospital, such as cancer patients.

Local Social Democrat representative Carly Bailey said: “If you have a child or adult relative in hospital for a week, you could be forced to pay over €100 just to park.

“It is unacceptable to be generating such huge incomes at the expense of children and adults experiencing illness.

“It is simply not right to be charging so much just to bring our loved ones to outpatient appointments, where people are often waiting hours to be seen or visiting family members who require a stay in hospital.

“It is a difficult enough time for people as it is. People should not be worrying about whether they can afford the cost of the car park and should be able to focus entirely on being there for their loved one.”

Local Fianna Fail TD, John Curran said that the charges created an added burden for cancer patients.

He said: “Car parking charges represent a huge cost for many cancer patients undergoing treatment at a time of complex need and financial pressure.

“These are people that are already facing real hardship with additional costs and large drops in income; extortionate car parking fees further add to this.

“Patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy must be exempt from paying car-parking fees.

“This practice is currently in place at hospitals such as Mayo General Hospital, St Luke’s Rathgar and Wexford General Hospital and needs to be more widely adopted.”

Deputy Curran added that, while he acknowledged that parking charges were a huge source of income for hospitals, he felt the “excessive” rates put a huge strain on cancer patients and their families.

“We must continue to highlight the financial burden of car parking on patients and their families,” he said.

“Should hospitals such as Tallaght adopt these guidelines and change their pricing policy for cancer patients, it will no doubt alleviate some of the difficulty with managing a long-term and serious illness.”

A spokesperson for Tallaght University Hospital said that they do not have plans to review parking charges as a national review is planned by the Department of Health.

The spokesperson added: “Tallaght University Hospital operate a 24 hour pass for €10, a flexible day pass with multiple entries and exits in one day for €12.50 and an entry pass that can be used six times within a three month period for €25.

“Additionally, there are 10 free surface disabled use car parking spaces near the front of the hospital for use by the public.”

Correction: This article initially stated that the maximum daily fee was €15. The maximum daily parking fee at Tallaght Hospital is €10 per day.

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