Scotland abolishes hospital parking charges

Car parking charges are to be abolished at NHS hospitals across Scotland, following a review of NHS Boards' car park charging policies.

An interim cap of £3 per day has been in place since January 2008.

Scottish health and wellbeing secretary Nicola Sturgeon said this move would help reaffirm the NHS’s founding principle of healthcare free at the point of delivery.

She said: ‘The NHS should be free at the point of delivery and it is my firm belief that this should apply whether one comes to hospital as a patient, visitor or a member of staff.’

All parking will be free at hospitals in Wales from 2011.

England’s health secretary Alan Johnson has ruled out such a scheme in England.

The Scottish Lib Dems have asked for an explanation about why PFI schemes are not included.

Andy Patrick, RCN Scotland board member and member of the Scottish government’s review group on hospital car parking charges, said: 'RCN Scotland has run a long-running ‘No to parking charges campaign’ and we are pleased on behalf of our members, patients and their relatives that the Scottish government has now decided to take action.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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