Hospitals across the province could undergo an overhaul in parking charges under new proposals outlined yesterday.
The changes would see parking fees extended to sites that are currently free, with staff at some hospitals also paying higher charges.
Health Minister Edwin Poots said he wanted parking charges at hospitals throughout Northern Ireland to be consistent.
“The aim of the new policy is to reinforce the exemptions and bring some consistency to charging for both visitors and staff on Health and Social Care sites.
“Good car parking provision and management are an important part of the experience of using the health service.
“The lack of car parking spaces can make a visit to a health service facility even more stressful.”
He said he hoped the changes would ensure sufficient spaces for both visitors and patients.
Free parking for patients who are seriously ill and their families is expected to remain.
Mr Poots said that people should pay for parking due to the associated running costs.
The plans are currently out for public consultation that will run until the end of the year.