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Renewed calls to scrap local hospital parking charges

Aug 8, 2023 12:53 By News Northern Sound
Renewed calls to scrap local hospital parking charges
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Doctor and commentator Prof. Bill Tormey has joined the Irish Cancer Society in calling for the abolition of hospital parking charges for cancer patients and others at the same time as new figures show Monaghan General Hospital lifted €474k in parking revenue last year.

The price patients have to pay for car parking while attending hospital across the Northern Sound / Shannonside regions varies disproportionately and should be scrapped altogether, according to the Irish Cancer Society.

The renewed call follows the release of figures by the HSE which shows the agency took in €7.5m in car parking revenue last year, which is up 46% from 2021.

The figures show that, in the Shannonside region, the University College Hospital, Galway brought in €934,000 from parking while the Midlands Hospitals in Tullamore and Mullingar netted €287,000 and €208,000 respectively.

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Meanwhile, in the Northern Sound region, where one commentator said there is a “more humane approach” to parking fees, Monaghan General Hospital took in €474,000 and Cavan lifted €99,000 for the same period.

Doctor and academic Professor Bill Tormey told this morning’s JF Show that the “flat rate” fee of €3 per day charged at Cavan and Monaghan was a “reasonable idea” but said hospitals in the Republic should move towards the system in place in Enniskillen.

Patients and their families attending appointments at Fermanagh’s South West Acute Hospital for cancer services, dialysis, coronary care, and even very frequent in-patient appointments, are given concessionary parking rates or have their fees refunded.

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Professor Tormey told this morning’s JF Show he agreed with the Irish Cancer Society’s call for parking charges to be ditched for cancer patients and certain other members of society.

He said it was “simply a statement of fact that the people who have to go to public hospitals are the poorer in society and the elderly” and he called on the government to abolish parking fees in the same way in-patient and day service charges were previously scrapped.

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