Free car parking will be introduced at Northern Ireland’s hospitals for very ill patients and their families, it has been announced.
Patients suffering from cancer and requiring chemotherapy or radiotherapy and those receiving renal dialysis will also have their parking fees waived.
The next of kin or partner of a critically ill or high dependency patient will also receive free parking.
Announcing the outcome of his review, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said that it would also be up to individual hospital trusts to decide whether to charge for car parking for patients and visitors who had to make lengthy or frequent visits to hospital.
The minister said while he was specifying who should not pay, there were also other situations where people visited hospital frequently or for lengthy periods and run up significant charges.
He said he expected trusts to consider such situations carefully and exempt people from charges where appropriate.
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