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Jan 20

Park Rite bites

Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 in Family, Rantings

It’s an expensive old business, being sick. 

This won’t be another rant about hospital services here in Ireland, there is plenty of material out there on the subject.  This rant is about greedy fat cats making a ton of cash at the expense of sick people and their visitors. 

Mothers like to spend hours on end by their childrens bedside when they are sick.  Wives like to hold vigils by their husbands after operations.  Friends sometimes like to drop into a sick buddy in hospital with grapes and magazines.  No surprises here!  What surprises me, is that some bright spark decided that there is potentially a lot of money to be made from this sort of concern that people feel for their loved ones, and have developed an empire on their pain.

For example, I’ve been trying to visit The Accidental Terrorist in a hospital near Glasnevin every day.  He had an operation last Friday, and it’s expected that he won’t be kicked out for another four or five days.  The easiest route for me is via the M50, over the tollbridge, all the way up to the Ballymun exit.  (Have you seen Ballymun lateley?!  The arsehole of Dublin has had a serious facelift, and is now Ireland’s first ‘Fair Trade’ town, whatever that means.  Everything still shuts at 10pm though, so the fear is still very much alive I guess.)  I then drive south to the hospital and park up.

So, that’s €4.00 for a round trip, there and back via the tollbridge alone.  Seeing as I’m travelling so far, it makes sense to stay a while.  If I stay for four hours, this will cost me €8.00.  Four hours goes by pretty fast if you’re visiting someone you love and miss very much, but it’s all I can afford thanks to Park Rite and their like.

To visit TAT every day for six days, I face costs of at least €50.  To include the tollbridge, this rises to €72.  Each return journey uses almost half a tank of diesel, which brings the cost to a whopping €192!!! 

I don’t mind the diesel.  It’s worth it to travel to a respected and reliable surgeon.  I don’t even mind the tollbridge, for the M50 is a wonderful road (seriously!) as long as you only use it between the hours of 11pm and 3am.  It’s the car park charge that gets me fuming.  Two euros an hour to park at a hospital?!?  Scabby bastards.


Bring on the comments

  1. Deborah says:

    Jesus K8 – certainly adds up all right! Hope he’s recovering well and you are coping without him!

  2. Grannymar says:

    And that is without medical costs, childminding etc.

  3. Medbh says:

    I hope TAT’s on the mend and will be home soon, K8.
    Those costs are freaking criminal.

  4. Cheers for the Happy Monday’s quote, spent the day listening to Bummed. Sorry to hear of the trials and tribulations. Accountants seem to have inveigled their way into all aspects of our lives today and stripped it of any soul or humanity. I once spent 4 weeks in Cashel hospital as a kid, and it was OK (apart from the food), I’d hate to be in any hospital now, no fault of the people on the front line, just the curse of the bean counters. Best of luck, if you like I’ll dig out another particularly good Ze show and post the link?

  5. That’s ridiculous! Obviously people are going to visit their famillies, and obviously they’ll pay whatever they have to to park. I hate the way these people think. Next they’ll be charging you to use the toilets.

  6. Mary Witzl says:

    This really is awful. Hospitals should encourage visitors instead of thinking of ways to make their lives more difficult and expensive.

    And here I was resenting having to spend 20p on a public toilet…

  7. Baino says:

    Yep, same where I was recently but not as expensive. The first hour was free then $6 an hour after that. The kids got used to parking in the suburban street around the corner. It stinks. My hospital only bill for three days came to $5,375! Now I know that included theatre fees and care but that’s ridiculous. Plus the food made me sick so I sent an invoice back with the payment to compensate me for the squits after eating shitty Steak Dianne!

    Sorry to hear bout TAT, hope this is going to help with the back problems?

  8. K8 says:

    Deborah; I wouldn’t say it’s lonely without TAT around, but it’s certainly a hell of a lot quieter.

    Grannymar; I’m lucky to have relatives to help me out with the childminding, though poor Laughingboy’s sick now, so I’m rooted! Sick men all over the place and only one me!

    Medbh; Yeah he’s doing really well, maybe home Wednesday. It’d be lovely if health insurance covered travel costs, but hey, what can you do?

    Thriftcriminal; A1, Sharon! That would help very much indeed.

    Jenny; The ironic thing is, I don’t have to pay for parking with a disabled car, if my little boy is with me. If he’s not, I feel way too guilty to use the wheelchair spot for fear I’m depriving someone else. You can’t bring kids into the hospital though, so it’s catch 22.

    Mary; I don’t believe that hospitals DO like visitors. They tend to introduce new bacteria into the mix, and need cleaning up after. They also tend to scab the patient’s food and get underfoot. Perhaps this is why they brought in fat cat parking co.? Hmmm..

    I have a poem about public toilets for you:
    Poor aul’ Mary, broken hearted
    Paid 20p and only farted :)

    Baino; They serve you food that makes you sick, they whinge about bacteria but their buildings are among the hottest and airless places you could find, and they won’t supply headache tablets to visitors. It’s crazy.
    TAT should be right as rain in about 3 weeks, here’s hoping :)

  9. I have the song from this show as my ringtone. There is another I’ll find later. Sharon?

  10. You can’t bring kids into the hospital?

    You are more honest than most. A lot of people would just take the disabled space. In fact, a lot of people would take the disabled space even if they didn’t have a permit. So at least you get to feel morally superior!

  11. Found it Dirty space news, blokish humour I’ll grant you, but I was rolling on the floor at this one.

  12. K8 says:

    Thrifcriminal; Didya ever watch that Irish flick ‘The Snapper’?(Good old Roddy Doyle!)
    Poor Sharon Curly was out of her tree on booze and found herself being shagged by a dirty old man called Georgie Burgess.
    When Burgess had finished the deed, he said:
    ‘That was A1, Sharon. Good girl!’ and pocketed her knickers.
    The Snapper was my book of choice for the Leaving Cert, so I know all the quotes backwards :)

    I’m waiting for zefrank to load. I’ll be back.

    Jenny; Yep, kids under 10 are a high risk factor for germs, also they tend to be quite loud and stressful. They’re banned.
    I HATE PEOPLE WHO ROB DISABLED SPOTS! Especially at Christmas when I have a wheelchair, a three year old, a trolley, and several shopping bags to lug around a carpark!
    I’m proud to say I’ve never ‘keyed’ a car, but I’ve been awful tempted.

  13. Brianf says:

    I hope TAT recovers fast and gets home to you.
    Get yourself a CLERGY sign and put it on your dashboard.
    Park wherever you damn well please.

  14. K8 says:

    I finished downloading!!! I’m glad the rover found it’s way to Victoria’s rim *giggle*
    This gets funnier every time I watch it!
    Anti-intellectualism. The brochure looks excellent.
    Thanks mang!

  15. K8 says:

    Brian; I think if people read my ‘Honk If you want to see my finger’ bumper sticker, they might have a hard time believing the CLERGY sign.

  16. Fair play, all I can remember are quotes from King Lear (I used an eraser on it and renamed it “Kinky Bear stars in George meets the care bears and has a good time”) and Julius Ceasar. But our novel for the inter (yes I am that old) was Blackcocks Feather, what a title for adolescents :-)

  17. Mary Witzl says:

    Good poem, but believe me, when I shell out 20p, I stay until I get my money’s worth — if it takes ALL DAY!

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