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Hospital praised for cancer-patient parking support 14.12.16

LETTERKENNY University Hospital has been commended by the Irish Cancer Society for its car parking scheme for cancer patients.
Unlike most of the hospitals around the country, the society said it understood that Letterkenny "makes arrangements that allow cancer patients free or reduced parking for the duration of their visit".
The Donegal acute hospital is highlighted in the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Park the Charges’ report as being "an example of good-practice for its car parking policy for cancer patients".
Elsewhere, cancer patients can pay up to €63 a week in car parking charges, the report states.
It also highlights the financial burden of car parking on patients and their families.
One cancer patient, Gerry Carroll who was in hospital for 115 days for treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia, told the society his family spent a whopping €1,200 on car parking charges while visiting him.
Irish Cancer Society head of services and advocacy, Donal Buggy, said cancer patients are already undergoing physical and psychological stress without added financial pressure.
“People undergoing treatment are facing real hardship in having to deal with additional costs and large drops in income, and high car parking charges only add to this. We have proposed a set of guidelines for hospitals to the HSE, that, if put in place, would make a big difference to cancer patients," said Mr Buggy.
The society also runs the Volunteer Driver Service providing transport for cancer patients to and from chemotherapy treatments, which currently operates at 21 different hospitals nationwide including Letterkenny.
This year alone, the service provided 21,350 drives to 1,163 chemotherapy patients, covering more than one million kilometres.
In Donegal, 718 drives totalling almost 55,000km were covered by 36 Irish Cancer Society volunteer drivers.
To find out more about hospital parking charges in your area and to sign a petition calling for the HSE to issue guidelines around car parking visit www.cancer.ie . Read our previous story on Donegal Volunteer Driver Service .
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