'begging' | 

Mum of child (4) with life-threatening illness pleads with HSE to introduce ‘reasonable’ parking rate

Yvonne Gilbert has to fork out hundreds of euro on a regular basis to bring her child to hospital

Yvonne and her daughter Ayla

Yvonne and her daughter Ayla

Gerry HandSunday World

The mother of a four-year-old child with a life-threatening illness has pleaded with the HSE to introduce a reasonable monthly rate for car parking at hospitals.

Yvonne Gilbert from Tinahely, county Wicklow, has to bring daughter Ayla to Crumlin children’s hospital sometimes as often as three weeks in a month and has to fork out hundreds of euro on a regular basis.

She revealed, 'Ayla is doing well to be here at all she has Down's Syndrome and Edward's Syndrome, (ES), and with ES babies don't normally survive the womb and rarely if ever live beyond a year.

Yvonne and her daughter Ayla

'She's a brave little battler but her conditions mean we are in Crumlin regularly, at the start it was two or three weeks at a time now it could be every second week and the weekly car parking fee is €36.

'If we are there for a second consecutive week that drops to a tenner weekly but as often as not we are in one week, then home, then back the next week so the cheaper rate does not really apply.

'Of course I can't put a price on Ayla's health, nor would I even try to, but surely it can't be beyond the capability of the HSE to introduce a reasonable monthly rate because I am sure there are many others in the same boat as I am.

'I have seen parents of very sick kids clamped after they parked on nearby streets to try and reduce the cost.

'Most people travelling up from the country have to use the car as bringing a sick child on a number of different buses or a bus and the Luas is not really practical.

'Now it has emerged that it will cost €10 a day for parking at the new children's hospital whenever that gets finished.

'They will never abolish the car parking charges even though that would be great but a monthly or yearly rate would really help families like ours.

'I'm begging the HSE to please reduce some of the cost that come with having a child with complex medical needs.'

Children's Health Ireland oversees paediatric services nation wide and their spokeswoman said: 'Children’s Health Ireland understands the stress and burden facing families when they have a child or young person staying in one of our hospitals.

'There are discounted parking rates available, and we work with our families who may have a longer stay, to provide further discounts or allowances in relation to food and other costs associated with a stay. We encourage parents to talk with the ward manager to seek support with financial costs and we engage social workers to see how families can be supported.

'We also work with our charity partner, Children’s Health Foundation and the Irish Cancer Society, to seek financial support for families with children accessing cancer services who are experiencing financial pressures.’


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