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Scrap hospital parking costs

27th February 2008

Hospital car park charges have been branded a tax on the sick as doctors’ leaders demand they be scrapped at Welsh hospitals.

Pound Coins

The British Medical Association (BMA) says that charging people to park at hospitals is an indirect tax on healthcare.

Their concerns comes as figures for the Welsh Assembly Government shows that NHS trusts in Wales made £5.4m last year from hospital parking. That amount does not include what private firms made from running car parks on their behalf.

BMA Welsh secretary Dr Richard Lewis said: “These days, the vast majority of people who attend hospital clinics do so by car.

“Often, these people have to attend several times during treatment and the costs mount up. It’s iniquitous that they have to pay to access hospital care. Patients and visitors will be shocked to learn that NHS trusts are making thousands of pounds a year, without any significant benefits.?

Figures show, for example, that Swansea NHS Trust collected £1,483,706 from parking last year, Bro Morgannwg: £579,303 and Cardiff and Vale: £680,581.

However, three trusts - North Glamorgan, Powys and Velindre - do not charge for car parking.

Those that do charge say money collected is spent on staffing the car parks, maintenance and night-time security with the remainder re-invested in patient care, though revenue received from parking at the University Hospital of Wales is retained by the private finance initiative provider and none goes to the trust.

Health minister Edwina Hart is due to make a statement on reforming car park charges.


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Article Information

Title: Scrap hospital parking costs
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 5785
Date Added: 27th Feb 2008


BBC News

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