5 March 2008
The Government must follow the example set by the Welsh Assembly and scrap hospital car parking charges in England, says Macmillan Cancer Support.
Macmillan is delighted that the Welsh Assembly is exempting patients, staff and visitors from hospital parking charges and now strongly urges the Department of Health in England to follow suit.
Macmillan believes that it is morally wrong that any cancer patient undergoing regular treatment for a potentially life-threatening disease should be forced to pay for unavoidable travel costs such as hospital parking.
Duleep Allirajah, Policy Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
"Hospitals across England and Wales generated £102.3 million last year in hospital parking fees and £97.2 million in 2006 . These figures are absolutely shocking. It is shameful that patients in England are still paying to park at hospital. We'd like the Government to ensure NHS trusts in England implement the guidance issued over a year ago, so people travelling regularly to hospital get free or reduced parking."
As well as calling for the abolishment of hospital car parking charges, Macmillan would like to see:
Cancer patients undergoing treatment for cancer be eligible for assistance on a non means-tested basis under the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) and for the HTCS to be better publicised.
Cancer patients travelling to and from hospital for treatment to be exempt from charges and tolls on bridges, roads and tunnels.
For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw, Macmillan Cancer Support, 020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)