Latest Laois News: Portlaoise Hospital sees almost €3 million collected in Car Parking & Clamping Charges since 2012
Over €2.7 Million in Car Parking & Clamping Charges at Portlaoise Hospital Since 2012
On foot of car parking and clamping receipts received from the HSE, Aontú Portlaoise Local Area Representative, Úna Doogue has highlighted the need for Aontú’s new Hospital Car Parking Charges
Bill as hospital car parks pull in millions in receipts.
Úna Doogue said as follows:
“Since 2012, hospital car parks across the country took in a little over €100 million in receipts from car parking and clamping charges. At the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise €2,766, 759 million has been collected in parking charges in that period including clamping fees. At the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore also used by many people from Laois, the amount collected was € 3,362,289. The receipts for 2020 would have been higher, were it not for the suspension of non-Covid healthcare services for the majority of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and government policies. On a human level, what percentage of those parking charges are from cancer patients and other patients with serious long term illnesses? What percentage of those charges comes from seriously ill individuals struggling to meet the costs of their treatment already? The government should be doing more to alleviate unnecessary burdens such as car parking charges for patients, some of whom are fighting for their very lives. The very last thing on their mind shouldn’t be, can I afford parking whilst I receive treatment.”
Úna Doogue continued as follows:
“Our Aontú Bill provides for an entitlement to free parking for up to three hours in the carpark of a public hospital, where an occupant of the vehicle, either the driver or a passenger, is attending the hospital to receive out-patient services. We urge all TDs of other parties to support the Aontú Bill, and to help move the Bill through the Dáil as fast as possible. Before the last election Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Labour promised either to cap hospital car parking charges or provide free parking for patients, yet this has not happened yet. Patients cannot wait for the government to get it together to finally resolve this. The Irish Cancer Society has also campaigned for a cut in hospital car parking charges. Paying car parking charges when you are attending out-patients services or emergency services at your local hospital is an additional and unnecessary stress and pressure for many people to deal with. These charges are especially financially hard on patients such as cancer patients or patients who are critically ill who may have to return regularly for hospital treatment. This Bill offers immediate relief and support to those patients, it needs to be passed.”