Wexford hospital cancer patient parking wins praise
Wexford General Hospital has been congratulated by the Irish Cancer Society for its free car parking scheme for cancer patients.
The Hospital, unlike most around the country, allows cancer patients going through treatment to park free of charge and is highlighted in the Irish Cancer Society's 'Park the Charges' report as being a leader in good-practice for its car parking policy for cancer patients.
In other hospitals, cancer patients can be asked to pay up to €63 a week in car parking charges. The Irish Cancer Society's report highlights the financial burden of car parking on patients and their families.
The charity says that the HSE needs to issue guidelines to hospitals so that all people undergoing cancer treatment receive free car parking. One cancer patient told the Irish Cancer Society that his family had spent €1,200 on car parking charges while he was in hospital.
Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society said: 'Car parking charges represent a huge cost for many cancer patients, at a time of not just physical and psychological stress, but financial pressure.
'People undergoing treatment are facing real hardship in having to deal with additional costs and large drops in income, and high car parking charges only add to this. We have proposed a set of guidelines for hospitals to the HSE, that, if put in place, would make a big difference to cancer patients.'
Dublin hospitals proving the most expensive. On average a four-hour stay in a Dublin hospital cost €8.86. Hospitals in Munster had the second highest costs for a four-hour stay at €6.70, while costs were lower in Connaught/Ulster at €4.67 and in Leinster (excl. Dublin) at €5.20, respectively. 'Introducing free parking for patients undergoing cancer treatment will help ease the burden they face at a time of complex need and financial stress. Our proposals include guidelines around car parking at hospitals that will ensure all people undergoing treatment for cancer are treated fairly, and that will provide for greater transparency in the levying of charges and use of revenue raised,' said Mr Buggy. At the 26 public hospitals that offer cancer treatment, the revenue raised by car parking in 2015 totalled almost €14.5 million, with two hospitals taking in in excess of €1million, and another two hospitals taking in €1.5million and €2.9million respectively. Wexford GH raised over €700,000 in revenue through parking charges.