Why has it fallen to local residents to solve the parking problems at Crumlin hospital? 2 months ago

Why has it fallen to local residents to solve the parking problems at Crumlin hospital?

It's created huge issue that many parents will be familiar with: the privatisation of hospital car parks.

It affects not only the patients but also the staff - with some coming off long shifts to find their cars clamped. Otherwise, patients have been late for or lost their appointments because they simply can't find anywhere nearby to park.

So what's the solution? And why is the government allowing more and more hospital services to become private?

Because of all this, it has fallen to locals to pick up the slack and try to provide parking spaces. Some have begun advertising their driveways online to members of the public who find themselves regularly visiting the hospital.

Having a lot of family in the area around Crumlin Children's Hospital, I often pass signs for available driveways and parking spaces and while I applaud those who have taken the initiative, it's hardly ideal.

Private hospital parking has been a controversial issue lately. Many have criticised the amount of money it's costing patients in order for them to obtain life-saving treatment. In one survey carried out by the Irish Cancer Society, it was found that some cancer patients were paying thousands per year for private parking. This is, of course, on top of the cost of treatment.

Not too long ago I had a run in with the private parking system when I tried to attend Crumlin Children's Hospital. One night myself and my husband awoke to our six-year-old son wheezing and gasping for air. He was crying and finding it difficult to breathe.

We immediately jumped into the car with him and rushed to the hospital. On arrival we found even at 5 am there was no parking. Frantic I pulled my son out of the car and carried him in. My husband then had to circle the area to try and find somewhere.

It got me thinking afterwards what would have happened if I were a single parent or on my own. Would I have had to dump my car anywhere and rush in or circle around looking for parking delaying my child's treatment?

No parent should have to be concerned with these issues when trying to help their child receive medical attention. Having a sick child is already stressful without adding any additional pressure.

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The new children's hospital site in Kilmainham is expected to have a larger parking facility, but will it still be costly for parents and will the new location cause new issues. This is especially a concern given the high cost involved in building the new hospital.

When decisions were being made about where to build the new hospital people objected to it being placed so central in the city. Many, myself included, worry that the heavy traffic in the area could delay ambulances and parents trying to reach the hospital from outside Dublin.

There is also the issue of the hospital grounds potentially being dangerous at night; visitors to St James have been mugged in the past.

Whatever the solution to these problems, it should fall to the government and not the general public. But until the issues are solved, local support may be the only answer.