21 May 2008
Commenting on the announcement by Northern Ireland Health Minister Michael McGimpsey MLA, today that hospital car parking charges are to be scrapped for cancer patients, Mike Hobday, Head of Campaigns, Policy and Public Affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support says,
"Macmillan is thrilled that the Health Minister has scrapped hospital parking charges in Northern Ireland for cancer patients. This is great news for cancer patients living in Northern Ireland, yet it's appalling that cancer patients in England will have to continue paying to park to receive treatment.
"Two of the biggest extra costs that cancer patients have to deal with are travelling to and from hospital for treatment, and parking at hospitals. We know that on average cancer patients make 53 visits to hospital during the course of their treatment, which costs them £325. This can leave cancer patients financially and emotionally drained at an already challenging time.
"Patients in England face a postcode lottery on hospital parking. The Government has issued guidance so that people travelling to hospital on a regular basis get free or reduced parking but we know that not all hospitals in England are not putting this into practice. Macmillan will now be calling on hospital trust boards up and down the country to end this cancer tax."
For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw, Macmillan Cancer Support firstname.lastname@example.org
020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
Macmillan Cancer Support has been campaigning since 2004 to help people cope with the financial costs that come with a cancer diagnosis.
People affected by cancer can get more information about the financial advice available to them by calling Macmillan on 08000 898 500 or by visiting www.macmillan.org.uk
• About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. 1.2 million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.