2 September 2008
Commenting on the Scottish Government's announcement today that car parking charges are to be scrapped in Scottish hospitals, Macmillan Cancer Support's Policy Manager, Duleep Allirajah, said:
"Macmillan Cancer Support has been campaigning for some time for these unfair charges to be scrapped. We wholeheartedly welcome today's announcement and congratulate the Scottish Health Secretary for listening to cancer patients, who have long been calling for parking costs to be scrapped.
"The English Government must now follow Scotland in scrapping hospital car parking charges. An average cancer patient spends over £300 a year paying hospital parking fees during their treatment - an extra cost they can ill afford as they cope with the stress of cancer.
"Macmillan Cancer Support 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."
Macmillan Cancer Support launched its Better Deal campaign in 2004 to help people cope with the financial costs that come with a cancer diagnosis. Two of the biggest extra costs that cancer patients must deal with are the costs of travel to and from hospital for treatment, and the cost of parking at hospital. On average cancer patients in England make 53 trips to hospital during their treatment, costing an average £325. Although there are schemes in place to help these are not always well promoted and not all patients are entitled to assistance.