THE HSE has been urged to reduce car parking fees at Kerry General Hospital by Fine Gael County Councillor for Mid and West Kerry, Brendan Griffin, who is a member of the HSE South Regional Health Forum.
Cllr. Griffin raised the matter at this month’s meeting of the forum, asking what is the annual revenue generated by car parking fees at Kerry General Hospital, including details of overall income and outlays and what is done with the surplus of this revenue.
The HSE responded that the annual revenue generated by car parking fees at Kerry General Hospital is approximately €678,129, after 21% VAT has been paid to the Revenue Commissioner.
The annual outlay for the car park is approximately €296,000. This is mainly accounted for by staffing costs and car park maintenance.
The HSE went on to say that car parking forms part of the income of the hospital and that after the above outlays are provided for, car parking monies generated are utilised to provide direct patient care at the hospital.
However, Cllr. Griffin has since written to Mr. Ger Reaney, Hospital Networks Manager for Cork and Kerry, urging the HSE to review parking fees in view of the substantial profits being made.
In his correspondence to Mr. Reaney, Cllr. Griffin said that the figures provided suggest that a net profit of €382,129 is generated by the HSE for car parking fees at the hospital and that he had issues with the fact that sick people and relatives and friends of sick people are, in effect, being forced to contribute over €2,350 every day of the year for a service that they are already being heavily taxed for (Total Revenue Generated (€858,391.14).
He added that of this daily figure, over €1,000 is clear profit for the HSE (€1,047) and almost €500 goes directly back to the State in the form of VAT (€493.87 per day, €180,262 per annum) and that ultimately, the combined profits for the State and HSE from KGH Car Parking fees is well over half a million euro per annum (€562,391).
Cllr. Griffin said that he sees this as an unfair tax on the sick people of Kerry and their families and that he has received numerous complaints from members of the public about excessive fees for car parking at KGH, which range from €3 per hour to €12 per day.
He said that he accepts the need for a regulated parking system at the hospital, but would argue that there is room for a substantial reduction in fees.
Cllr. Griffin also sought a breakdown of the €296,000 outlay cost for the car park, as this represents a figure of €811 for every day of the year.
Cllr. Griffin is currently awaiting a further response from the HSE the matter. For further info, please contact 087 652 8841.