The fact that patients and immediate relatives of very ill patients can avail of reduced parking fees at Midlands Regional Hospital Hospital should be better advertised.
That's according to Cllr Sorca Clarke, who recently called on the hospital to offer reduced parking fees to patients and immediate relatives of very ill patients or frequent users attending the hospital. Cllr Clarke called also called on the hospital to advertise any reductions.
Responding to Cllr Clarke's request, the hospital general manager Shona Schneemann stated in a letter to Mullingar Municipal District (MMD) that parents of “oncology children” are given a free parking pass on admission to the hospital.
The letter also revealed that “arrangements are also in place to provide reduced parking fees for patients and immediate relatives of very ill patients on a case by case basis as advocated by the Clinical Nurse Managers”.
“The hospital is currently reliant on car parking income to pay for security and car park maintenance for the hospital and of note [is that] Regional Hospital Mullingar have low charges relative to other hospitals.
“The hospital would not be in a position to advertise reduced parking fees as this would be extremely difficult to administer,” the letter concluded.
At the July MMD meeting, Cllr Clarke said “something needs to be done” to address the cost of parking for regular visitors to the hospital as “many people can't afford it”.
Although the hospital says that arrangements can be made for reduced parking fees for regular visitors, Cllr Clarke said that she has been contacted by a number of patients, who are continuing to pay the full amount despite meeting the criteria.
She also said there should be signs erected around the hospital that regular visitors can avail of reduced parking fees.
“This is not top secret information, patients and their families deserve to know, it shouldn't be hidden from them,” she said.