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Home Industry News Scottish hospitals scrap car park charges

Scottish hospitals scrap car park charges

31st December 2008

From today, 14 hospitals across Scotland have stopped charging visitors for the use of their car parks.

The move was announced in September to come into effect on December 31st as the Scottish National party (SNP) added pressure on the Westminster government to follow suit.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the decision was motivated by a commitment to maintaining the NHS’ founding principle of providing free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare.

“It’s simply not fair to expect patients or visitors to have to pay when they come to hospital, when they may be suffering personal anxiety,” she said.

“Put bluntly, a car parking charge is often the last thing people need.”

Although 14 hospitals will no longer charge for the use of their car parks, three PFI hospitals will continue to do so.

Despite this, the British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland has backed the move as a shift away from car park charges being an “indirect tax on healthcare”.

Its Scottish consultants committee chairman Dr Charles Saunders said it was pleased the Scottish government had recognised the “financial burden” they imposed.

The Department of Health remains opposed to abandoning the revenue it receives from car parking.

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