A campaign seeking to put an end to parking fees for long term patients in hospitals run by the RCSI group, under which two Louth hospitals operate, will deliver a petition to the RSCI headquarters today demanding that fees be scrapped.
As reported by thejournal.ie today, a recent report revealed that cancer patients and their families face car park fees of up to €250 per month in some Irish hospitals.
Both the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk and Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda are operated by the RSCI group.
According to thejournal.ie, over 7,400 people have signed the petition requesting that there be a parking fee exemption fee for cancer patients.
In the Irish Cancer Society's 2016 report 'Park the Charges Campaign', the society ask the HSE to 'implement new guidelines that will see people undergoing cancer treatment receive free car parking, for them or a nominated family member. '
In the report, the Irish Cancer Society have put forward the following proposed guidelines with regard to parking costs for cancer patients in Ireland:
- Patients undergoing cancer treatment should receive free or significantly reduced car parking
- Patients should be informed of parking exemptions in their first appointment letter
- Concessions should be widely promoted and easy to understand and apply for
- Responsibility for informing cancer patients about their rights should rest with a specific member of staff
- Healthcare professionals should be made aware of free parking schemes/concessions
- Any future tender arrangements for private car park operators should clearly place the onus on operators to provide discs or tokens for cancer patients
- Charges should be displayed clearly and well publicised at car park entrances and wherever payment is made, along with on the hospitals website
- Any concessions should also be clearly advertised
- Transparency in parking charges should be encouraged. Hospitals should be encouraged to publish car parking costs, revenue raised from car parks, the use of that revenue and tenders/contracts with car park operators publicly
- Weekly caps on charges should be introduced to protect regular patients and visitors