Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says he supports the efforts underway to secure free car parking for cancer patients accessing services at Naas General Hospital.

Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after Kildare County Council passed a motion calling for parking facilities at the hospital to be made free for cancer patients.

“Currently patients accessing cancer treatment services at Naas General Hospital have to pay extortionate parking fees on a regular basis. Many patients have to travel to the hospital on a daily basis for treatment and over the course of a few months they end up having to pay hundreds of euro in parking fees,” explained Deputy O’Rourke.

“I think it’s inherently unfair to place such a large financial burden on cancer patients at a time when they are trying to focus on their recovery. The last thing patients and their families need to be worried about is parking charges during such a challenging time in their lives. Accordingly I believe the HSE should do the decent thing and waive such fees.

“People in large urban areas such as Dublin are able to rely on public transport to access hospital. They don’t have to worry about paying extortionate parking fees. However many cancer patients travelling to Naas General Hospital simply don’t have an alternative form of transport to rely on. They have to rely on the car parking facilities at the hospital if they are to receive the treatment they need.

“I have raised this matter with Minister for Health Simon Harris and have pressed the need for free parking facilities to be provided for patients availing of cancer treatment services. I am awaiting a reply from the Minister but this is something which I will continue to follow-up on. I fully support the position taken by the Council,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.