NB Please see Bill attached.
Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called on all parties to support Aontú’s new Bill to end Hospital Car Parking charges for many patients attending out-patient services in public hospitals, after it has emerged State Hospitals take in €12m per year in car parking charges.
An Teachta Tóibín: “Paying car parking charges when you are attending out patients services or emergency services at your local hospital is an additional stress and pressure for many people. These charges are especially financially hard on patients such as cancer patients or patients who are critically ill who many have return regularly for hospital treatment. Paying Hospital parking charges on the same day as getting a diagnosis of cancer can be emotionally very difficult. State-run Hospitals took €12m last year in car parking charges, many of which are collected through arrangements with private companies”.
“What percentage of those parking charges are from Cancer Patients and other patients with serious long term illnesses? What percentage of those charges comes from seriously ill individuals who are already hammered with increased expenses relating to their illness and a fall in income? Hospitals are making millions from their car parks, with others pulling in hundreds of thousands. The Irish Cancer Society has campaigned for a cut in hospital car parking charges. Their “Real Costs of Cancer” report in 2016 stated that 80% of patients were paying at least €60 a month. Incredibly parking charges can be as high as €4 an hour in some hospitals”.
“In 2018, the then Minister for Health Simon Harris announced a review of hospital car parking charges. The recommendations from this review have never been published. It was suggested that hospital car parking charges were due to be capped at €10 a day yet many hospitals have not complied. Some hospitals have provided discounts to Cancer Patients on the back of the Irish Cancer Society campaign but knowledge of these discounts is not widespread. Before the last election Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Labour promised either to cap Hospital car parking charges or provide free parking for patients yet this has not happened yet. Patients cannot wait for the government to get it together to finally resolve this.”
“The Aontú Bill provides for an entitlement to free parking for up to three hours in the carpark of a public hospital, where an occupant of the vehicle (either the driver or a passenger) is attending the hospital to receive out-patient services. We urge the TDs of other parties to support the Aontú Bill through the Dáil as fast as possible.”