IRISH HOSPITALS have continued to charge patients and visitors exorbitant fees to use on-site car parking facilities despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it has been revealed.
According to an investigation from the Irish Mirror, parking fees charged by hospital groups across Ireland during the pandemic start at €2 for just 25 minutes and €3.20 for an hour.
In some cases, parking charges have amounted to as much as €3 for just half an hour while there are few, if any, exemptions available for patients or parents visiting an ill child or relative.
While the HSE issues a directive back in March making hospital parking free to all staff working through the pandemic, no allowances have been given for patients and visitors affected by the virus.
Fianna Fail’s health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has condemned the practice and called on hospital parking charges to be scrapped altogether.
“People have enough strife to be dealing with when they are in hospital or are visiting a loved one, especially during this emergency we are now in,” he told the Irish Mirror.
“And I think it’s ridiculous that the hospitals didn’t go further after they were ordered to implement free parking for staff by the HSE.
“So I would encourage all of the hospitals still charging in their car parks to act now, cancel parking charges, take it on board themselves because it’s just not right.
“It’s something [parking for charging] that I think should just not be happening.”
The full Irish Mirror investigation can be read here.