Car Insurance: Hospital parking fees will be scrapped

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Hospital parking charges for patients and car insurance customers will be scrapped after the government admitted they cause "great resentment".

Health secretary Andy Burnham admitted the NHS had not given the issue "the attention it deserves" as he began an eight-week consultation to decide who should be exempt from fees - which can top £4 an hour.

"People going into hospital are often at a low point in their life emotionally or financially," Mr Burnham said.

"The cost of parking can add extra pressure. We need to do more to recognise that and to have fairer charges."

Scotland has already abolished the fees and Wales is phasing them out, with all NHS hospitals offering free parking since April 2008.

The government will ask Brits whether free parking should be given to all in-patients and visitors, or only long-stayers.

Views will be sought on out-patients, including those having regular treatment like chemotherapy.

Posted by Noel Martin

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