Hospital patients can spend up to €15 a day just to park their car. For those who suffer with chronic conditions, it can be much worse. The Irish Cancer Society has estimated that families of children with cancer are paying an average of €200 a month.
In an era of rising inflation, these charges should be scrapped.
A survey conducted by the Journal.ie showed that there are eight hospitals that have no car parking fees but 23 other hospitals have fees. Between them, they made €5.1 million in 2021.
The 2020 Programme for government contained a promise to address the hospital car parking issue but nothing has been done.
But the HSE always looks for charges – in this case just for bringing sick people to hospitals.
We need to take money-making out of health. That means a move to a proper National Health Service, funded by general taxation.
Tomorrow morning, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly could ban hospital car parking charges. Let’s make him do it.