The Irish Cancer Society has today welcomed the news that the South/South West Hospital Group will review car parking policy for cancer patients across the six hospitals that offer cancer treatment.
This comes after the Chief Operating Officer at the South/South West Hospital Group, Mr. Ger O’Callaghan that the Group would “review what is going on across hospitals”.
South Tipperary Hospital, which is part of this group, already has a system in place where cancer patients pay €10 for a two day ticket.
The Irish Cancer Society has been campaigning to ‘Park the Charges’ for cancer patients and said this is an important first step in reducing the excessive financial burden parking charges place on cancer patients.
Donal Buggy, Head of Advocacy and Services said: “We were grateful to hear Mr. O’Callaghan’s remarks, and hope this is a positive signal of a wider shift across our health services that recognises the benefits of free or subsidised parking charges for cancer patients. The South/South West Group has exhibited very good practice when it comes to parking for cancer patients, and we’re pleased to note their openness to further progress.”
Of the six hospitals in the South/South West Hospital Group that offer cancer treatment and have a hospital on-site, only Waterford Hospital doesn’t provide free parking or concessions for cancer patients. At South Tipperary Hospital cancer patients pay €10 for a two day ticket.
Meanwhile, the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital in Cork, has decided to introduce a new reduced daily rate of €5 for cancer patients.
Mr. Buggy said: “This is really welcome news and we’re pleased that hospital management at SIVUH are listening to the needs of cancer patients by choosing to reduce charges. This is a good example of the compassion required at hospitals right across the country, and means that cancer patients having treatment in Cork won’t have to pay more than €5 a day for parking.”
Currently, Cork University Hospital are one of only two designated cancer centres that offer free or reduced parking for cancer patients at €5 a day.
Following strong public support, with over 3,000 signatures to the Irish Cancer Society’s online petition calling on hospitals to ‘Park the Charges’ and the support of a number of Councillors across both Cork County and City Councils, where a motion calling on SIVUH to lower its charges for cancer patients recently passed with unanimous support, SIVUH have moved to reduce its charges.
The Irish Cancer Society has said it will continue to campaign in communities across the country to reduce the financial burden of cancer.