Only two hospitals in Ireland offer free parking

The Irish Cancer Society is calling on more hospitals nationally to follow suit

Roscommon County Hospital and Ballinasloe Hospital are the only hospitals in Ireland to offer free parking.

The Irish Cancer Society has issued a report asking hospitals to 'park the charges', after finding that cancer patients are paying up to €63 a week on parking charges.

The Society found that a four hour stay in Tallaght Hospital costs patients €10.

Dublin hospitals currently charge the most for parking. The Society found that a four hour stay in Tallaght Hospital costs patients €10. On average a four hour stay in a Dublin hospital cost €8.86.

Calls from Newstalk to Vincent's Hospital and the Rotunda Maternity Hospital were not answered.

Munster

Cork University Hospital charge €2.70 per hour for parking, capped at €15 for the day. The first 20 minutes at University Hospital Limerick are free; up to an hour, it's €2. Every hour after that is charged at €1, with a maximum daily rate of €10.

Clonmel Hospital in Tipperary charge €4 for the first hour and €8 after that. A multi-pass for more than one day's parking costs €12.

Leinster

St. Luke's Hopsital, serving Kilkenny and Carlow, charges €4 for two hours parking at the hospital. 

Wexford Hospital charge €4 for three hours, €6 for four hours and €8 for any time after that. Waterford parking charges start at €4 for three hours, €6 for four and €8 for a 24-hour stay.

Ulster

Calls from Newstalk to Letterkenny General Hospital and Kerry Hospital were not answered and the information was not immediately available on their website.

According to figures provided by the Society, at the 26 public hospitals that offer cancer treatment, the revenue raised by car parking in 2015 totalled almost €16 million, with two hospitals taking in in excess of €1 million, and another two hospitals taking in €1.5 million and €2.9 million respectively.

Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society said: said: “While we acknowledge that car parking is a key source of revenue for many hospitals, the excessive rates charged at some facilities place an unnecessary strain on cancer patients and their families.

"We are asking the HSE to issue guidelines to hospitals, like those that exist in the UK. Introducing free parking for patients undergoing cancer treatment will help ease the burden they face at a time of complex need and financial stress."

The Irish Cancer Society is calling on the public to sign a petition to support their campaign for free parking for cancer patients. To sign go towww.cancer.ie/parkthecharges