Moves to cap hospital parking fees

Simon Brouder

Parking at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) could become cheaper following news that Health Minister Simon Harris is planning to put a cap on hospital-parking charges.

The price of parking at UHK - which charges €3 for the first hour and has a daily cap of €12 and a €35 weekly rate - has been the subject of much criticism in recent years.

It is frequently blamed for traffic problems, with many motorists parking in estates to avoid UHK's charges.

Under new plans being introduced by Health Minister Simon Harris, hospital car parking charges will be capped at €10 per day.

Hospitals will also be required to introduce discounted multi-day passes for relatives, guardians and friends who frequently visit patients in long-term care. This could include a consecutive two-day car parking pass for €10; a five-day pass for €20; or a 15-day pass for €35.

All hospitals will also be asked to introduce car parking passes which will allow visitors to park on 10 separate occasions over a three-month period.

While many have called for parking charges to be scrapped altogether, the abolition of hospital parking fees - which are used to cover a significant portion of many hospitals' operational costs - has been ruled out.