Parents charged €460,000 in car park fees to visit sick children
Parents of sick children attending Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, in Dublin, contributed to the hospital raising more than €460,000 in car park income last year.
According to figures provided by the HSE to Co Clare independent TD Dr Michael Harty, the amount generated by the children's hospital at Crumlin last year totalled €464,373. The sum is part of €19.25m in parking charges generated by hospitals across the country last year.
The final figure will be even higher as the HSE couldn't provide income from Galway University Hospitals, Sligo University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital due to reasons arising from a tendering process.
The hospital with the highest car parking income in the country was Cork University Hospital, which generated €3.1m last year.
The HSE reply to Dr Harty stated that the income from car parking charges at Cork University Hospital "forms an integral part of the hospital's budgetary policy and the net proceeds are invested back into the hospital for the provision of services".
A note related to the €464,373 generated at Our Lady's Children's Hospital makes a similar point, stating that "car parking income less related expenses forms part of the overall operational budget of the hospital".
Those parking at Our Lady's Children's car park are charged €3.20 for the first hour and €5 for the first two hours.
The hospital employs an external management company to manage car parking and all cars parked unofficially throughout the car park will be clamped and a release fee applies.
Currently, the Irish Cancer Society is calling for free or subsidised parking for all cancer patients receiving treatment.
The second highest amount generated from car parking is at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin, where €2.79m was raised last year.