CORK Senator Tim Lombard is hoping to make progress with an initiative to curtail expensive hospital car parking charges.
Senator Lombard said: “The expense of paying large hospital car parking bills in order to visit an ill family member or loved one is not something anyone should have to struggle with. This is particularly relevant for long-term illness and hospital stays, which cause car parking bills to really accumulate."
The Fine Gael senator said hospital car parking charges are "just not right".
“This is just not right; people are already under enough stress with worry for their loved one – not to mention the other costs of long-term illness.
“Fine Gael campaigned on this issue 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,” he added.
Senator Lombard said progress needs to be made "as soon as possible" on ending expensive hospital car parking charges to alleviate the stress for both patients and their families.
“We must progress this initiative, introduce this cap as soon as possible, and ease the burden on both patients and their loved ones,” he said.
Cork hospitals took in more than €1.4m in parking charges in 2020, just less than half the amount made the year before,reported in March.
Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed that in 2020, Cork University Hospital made just over €1.2m in parking charges, while Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) took in €66,000, and the South Infirmary made around €118,000.
Other Cork hospitals do not charge for parking.
The intake for 2020 represented a significant shortfall compared to 2019 when CUH took in more than €2.8m alone and more than €438,000 was paid in parking costs to the South Infirmary.