Cuts Watch #240: Free NHS Parking
Health Minister Simon Burns has announced that the government will not go ahead with the previous government’s plans to make car parking free in English NHS hospitals. Car parking is free in Wales and Scotland, but the NHS in England raises £110 million a year from the charges – which average £1.09 an hour.
Macmillan Cancer Support (which has been running a campaign to abolish the charges) reports that the average cancer patient has to make 53 trips to hospital for their treatment, 60% still pay the full charge and 45% say the charges have caused them stress or worry. Ciaran Devine, Macmillan’s Chief Executive, denounced the charges as an “unjust tax on illness.” The RAC has raised concerns that patients face higher insurance premiums if they have to park in areas with a higher risk of theft.