Almost €1 million a year is generated by the Galway University Hospital car park, but a Galway politician has alleged there is a lack of clarity and detailed information as to how that money is being spent, with even a Freedom Of Information request yielding little information.
This is the view of Independent senator Fidelma Healy-Eames, who is calling on the HSE to clarify how "exactly the revenue from the car park at GUH is being spent". The Maree based politician sought information on the hospital's cark park revenue, and how that revenue was being spent, under a Freedom of Information request.
According to a letter received by Sen Healy-Eames from Galway University Hospital, dated February 2, the net income for parking at the hospital, were €852,702 (2013 ), €944,718 (2014 ), €976,163 (2015 ), a total of €2,773,583 over three years. The letter concluded by saying: "This money was used to provide services to patients."
However the senator said the letter still raises many questions. "No breakdown of exactly where the money was spent was given," she said. "Did it go into the general HSE fund or was it ring-fenced for certain projects? The car park is extremely profitable, earning almost €1 million each year. The people who use this service have a right to know where exactly the money is spent."
Sen Healy-Eames was also very critical of the hospitals's parking system in general, describing it as "completely inflexible", accusing it of taking "no note of people, many of whom may be at the bedside of seriously or unwell family and friends for days on end". She is now calling for the introduction of a parking credit system to take account of such situations.