Hospitals are now collecting more than 1 million euro a month in parking charges.
The extent of the car parking bill in HSE-run hospitals was revealed in a parliamentary reply to Waterford Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane.
It shows University Hospital Waterford generated one and a half million euro last year from their car park. It charges €4 for up to three hours and €6 for four hours, with a maximum levy of €8 a day.
In total the public hospitals across the country collected nearly 13 million euro in just a year.
The Irish Independent reports that the Irish Cancer Society wants to see the fees scrapped for those with the disease. A public petition by the Irish Cancer Society has been signed by more than 3,300 people.
There are also suggestions that staff shouldn’t have to pay the charges either as they’re providing essential services.
Independent TD and Doctor Michael Harty says at the very least, the car parks shouldn’t be making a profit. He says the charges are unfair on patients and their families: “Those who have complex illness, who have long-term illness, there should certainly be a maximum of car parking charges for those visitors,” said Dr Harty.
“For instance, if you’re paying €10 a day which doesn’t sound like a lot but you have to visit your relative 30 days in a month that is €300. That is way above what anyone should expect to pay.”