Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1211, 1477)

Carol Nolan


1211. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Health if consideration will be given to introducing the reduced car parking charges for cancer patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32104/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan


1477. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the measures he is taking in Budget 2020 to reduce charges for cancer patients; the position regarding the provision of reduced hospital parking charges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33138/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1211 and 1477 together.

I am advised by the HSE that it does not currently provide guidelines on hospital car parking. Each hospital, or hospital group, implements its own guidelines. I am aware that hospitals that charge parking fees are very cognisant of the financial implications of parking costs for patients and their families, particularly for those with long-term illnesses. Consequently, some hospitals have introduced a maximum daily fixed parking charge.

Some hospitals provide reduced car parking fees for patients with cancer who are attending for long-term treatment. However, there are many conditions which can require long-term care and it is difficult to prioritise one over another.

I have made it clear that I want to see progress made in this area and I am working with my Department and the HSE in this regard. In March 2018, I requested the HSE to conduct a review of hospital car parking charges with a view to establishing clear national guidelines in the area. The HSE is currently liaising with hospital groups nationally to develop an implementation plan, which will be submitted shortly, to accompany the review report. My Department will then consider the implementation plan in collaboration with the HSE as part of the annual service planning process.