A national review into hospital car parking charges has been welcomed by the Irish Cancer Society, who said a patient can spend up to €1,000 on parking over the course of their treatment.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society, said regular hospitals visits means significant car parking bills, and on average cancer patients are spending up to €60 per week in certain hospitals.
He welcomed the review ordered by Minister for Health Simon Harris into hospital parking charges, saying it is a review that the Irish Cancer Society had been pushing for.
Mr Buggy said: "In the last couple of years the Irish Cancer Society published draft guidelines, which we felt would go a long way to addressing the challenge of car parking charges for people who are visiting hospitals on a regular basis."
He said that while some hospitals are currently providing free car parking to cancer patients, it is done on an ad-hoc basis.
Mr Buggy does not believe free parking at all hospitals is the solution as that "would be chaos", but rather he hopes hospitals will take a compassionate view towards those who are ill or those who are required to visit hospitals on a regular basis.
He hopes the review will look at putting in place guidelines and upper limits, on a weekly basis, so people attending hospitals regularly would not pay any more charges once this limit has been reached.
"I think what we need to be looking at is not just cancer patients, but those with chronic long-term illnesses."