NHS parking charge announcement is a move forward

September 30, 2009 12:00 AM
Mark outside Stepping Hill Hospital

Mark outside Stepping Hill Hospital

Health Secretary Andy Burnham's announcement that the Government plans to drop Hospital in-patient parking charges is a 'step in the right direction', Mark Hunter MP has said, whilst adding that much more still needs to be done.

Mr Hunter has been pushing the Government to reduce Hospital car parking charges and has recently condemned the parking charge increases at Stepping Hill Hospital which have doubled this year. Earlier this summer he pressed Harriet Harman for a debate on the issue, and has recently received a response to a Parliamentary Question about NHS parking revenues.

Whilst today's announcement is a sign of progress, concern was raised about Mr Burnham's failure to indicate where the money would come from to fund the initiative. The decision has also faced criticism from Macmillan Cancer Support, who have said that the announcement makes no difference to cancer patients visiting Hospital for treatment as out-patients.

Commenting, Mark said:

"I welcome today's announcement as a positive step, but in-patients only account for a small slice of those who pay the fees. Nobody visiting Hospital should have to pay the amount they do to park.

"The main worry is where the money will come from - I just hope this new measure isn't funded by an increase in the out-patient parking fee.

"I will continue to work hard on this issue both locally and in Parliament to ensure a fair deal for all."

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