Concerns over hospital car-parking facilities are often raised by patients and their representative groups.
Following a request earlier this year from the Minister for Health Simon Harris, the HSE has recently finalised a review of the wide range of car-parking arrangements at hospitals across the country, and the Executive is set to discuss the result of this review with Department of Health officials.
“Early this year [March], the Minister requested the HSE to undertake a review of car-parking charges in public hospitals,” a Department spokesperson told the <strong><em>Medical Independent</em></strong> (<strong><em>MI</em></strong>).
“This report is currently being finalised by the HSE and will be submitted for his consideration shortly. The Department of Health will then liaise with the HSE on the next steps to be undertaken.”
HSE National Director of Acute Operations Mr Liam Woods mentioned the progress of the review in off-script remarks at the recent launch of the The Ombudsman’s report, A Good Death: Progress Report, which looked at end-of-life care in HSE hospitals.
“We have actually, with the support of the Department [of Health], looked at car-parking across the whole country and current arrangements for parking,” said Mr Woods at the launch, which was attended by <strong><em>MI</em></strong>.
“[The arrangements] are truly variable, with some commercial, some self-provided, some have no charge, some where we have no charge and park and ride; all sorts of complexities.
“We are looking at that to try and standardise. There is a report that is actually ready for dialogue with the Department on that very issue over the next week or two, which will be useful for us to review with [them].”
The Department told <strong><em>MI</em></strong> that the review involved the “relevant stakeholders” and was set to take account of the income generated by charges, the impact of any reduction in car-parking income on hospital services and the views of patient advocacy groups.
The HSE has not provided this newspaper with any further details regarding the content of the review.