THE HSE has denied it has cut parking privileges for parents bringing children with cystic fibrosis to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.
While parking concessions relating to paediatric inpatients have been subject to a review, the HSE said free parking for “the parents of CF children, CF adult patients, the parents of paediatric oncology patients and the parents of children receiving end of life care” continues and “will not change”.
This is in response to Sinn Fein’s Malachy McCreesh, a local election candidate in Limerick City West.
Mr McCreesh, Gouldavoher, insisted that he knew of at least two parents of children with CF who were now being charged for parking where they had previously been exempt.
“Cystic fibrosis sufferers have to attend hospital regularly because of the nature of the disease. Up until now they have been spared the cost of car parking in the hospital. Suddenly, this policy has changed without any consultation whatsoever,” he stated.
“The change means that CF patients are now facing into significant additional costs each month,” said Mr McCreesh, calling on the HSE to reverse the “cruel and unnecessary” cut.
But the HSE statement said there was no cut to reverse.
“Parking concessions are intended to assist the parents of paediatric inpatients who incur overnight parking charges. There is no change to this. However, over recent years, practices have crept in where some people look for free parking when attending clinics and this will be discontinued,” a spokesperson said.
“The administration of the concessionary passes for parking related to the Children’s Ark (paediatric wards) will now be carried out by administrative staff instead of front line nursing staff which has been the situation to date.”