Call for Dublin hospitals to axe parking fees for cancer patients
Dublin hospitals are coming under pressure to provide parking spaces free of charge to cancer patients and their families.
A December report on parking charges from the Irish Cancer Society for cancer patients revealed costs of up to €63 a week, on top of the huge out-of-pocket payments cancer patients already face.
A motion will be brought forward to a Dublin City Council meeting on Tuesday by Independent councillor Nial Ring in relation to the issue.
The motion will call on Crumlin, Beaumont, the Mater, St James's and St Vincent's Hospitals to ensure that free car parking in their hospital car park facilities are made available for cancer patients.
Cllr Ring said the cost of parking was so bad that patients "were being forced to get taxis because it's a cheaper alternative".
Cllr Ring added that the cost to hospitals would be minimal and that the "technology is there" to start making parking spaces available to cancer patients.
"Patients, including some from my own constituency, are going through enough as it is without having to worry about the extra costs," he said.
"In extreme cases, when patients are lying on a trolley the last thing they want to worry about is facing extra costs that could be avoided."
A letter to the council from the Irish Cancer Society's head of services and advocacy Donal Buggy said "no progress has been made".
"Currently, at the six hospitals within Dublin City Council's boundaries that provide cancer treatment, on average, a typical four-hour stay during treatment costs cancer patients €8," he said.
"This includes St Luke's in Rathgar, which provides free parking.
"One day's parking at the Mater costs €15. This is just one euro less than a day in the Stephen's Green car park, one of the most expensive spots to park in the city."
If the motion is passed, Dublin City Council's chief executive Owen Keegan will write to the hospitals referred to asking for measures to be taken to allow cancer patients free parking.