Free parking at Cork Hospitals?

11 April 2021
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Roads & Transportation News

It is time to put an end to “extortionate” hospital car parking charges, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Colm Burke, Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central and the Party’s Health Spokesperson described the effect of expensive car park changes for people visiting someone who is ill in hospital, particularly those with long term illness.

Deputy Burke said:

“Too many people are struggling to pay enormous hospital car parking bills in order to visit a family member or loved one who is ill. It is particularly relevant in the case of a long-term illness, causing these car parking bills to really add up. This is just not right, especially when you consider the stress and worry already visited upon these people and families whose loved one is in hospital, not to mention the other hidden costs of long-term illness.

“Fine Gael campaigned on this issue in the General Election and the Programme for Government includes our commitment to introduce a cap on the maximum daily charge for patients and visitors at all public hospitals where possible. There is also a commitment to introduce flexible passes in all public hospitals for patients and their families.

“We must press on with this now and ensure this cap is introduced as soon as possible to end this rip-off and give both patients and families a break,”

Colm Burke is a Cork North Central TD

The other side of the argument – The opinion of TheCork.ie

No one like directly paying for parking, but there are two sides to every story.

It must be noted that there are benefits to paid parking. It ensures a turnover of spaces, so that a visitor has a better chance of finding a space when they arrive. In fact this is the argument for having paid parking (or time limits at least) on the main streets of many Cork towns. Paid parking also ensures people minimise their visit times to Hospital, which can be beneficial (if you have ever been in Hospital you will understand! it’s nice to see your friends and relations but in small doses). Also, if Senator Burkes proposal goes ahead then who would administer the scheme? It would put an administrator in an awkward position of having to determine whether or not a condition was severe enough to warrant free parking. Finally, what of the lost income for the Hospital? Hospitals need as much income as they can get because the demands on expenditure are endless.

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