Although I’m very thankful for the NHS, I’ve got to say that whenever I visit the hospital the car parking fees that are imposed are absolutely outrageous. There’s usually nowhere else to park anywhere near them too so you’ve just gotta suck it up and pay it – it’s not cool at all. I think they even actually make members of staff and disabled people pay for the privilege of parking there which is just absolutely ridiculous.
I’ve never actually stopped to think about how much hospitals are actually making from this practice though. It turns out that it’s a lot though and it’s all come to light now because Freedom of Information request from the Press Association.
Only 90 NHS trusts responded, but out of those at least half of them make at least £1 million off parking fees, with seven earning more than three million and eight earning more than 2 million. Ooof. Here’s the full rankings:
Chief executive of the Patients Association Katherine Murphy had the following to say:
We are concerned that hospitals in England still charge patients for car parking.
Why is it that patients in Wales and Scotland do not have to pay to park? It is a postcode lottery and a tax on sick people who sometimes struggle to pay.
The money is never reinvested in frontline services. Hospital car parks are often managed by private contractors who take a huge percentage of the profits.
This is morally wrong — and charging disabled people is a disgrace.
I’ve got to say I agree with her there. Although I’m thankful to have an NHS and not have to pay for my own medical bills, I still think it’s ridiculous that these car parking charges aren’t even going back into the service.
If they were then I probably wouldn’t have so much of a gripe with paying them – like I said I’m thankful for the NHS and if I have to pay a fiver every time I use it for parking and it’s getting reinvested back in then I would be OK with it. The fact it’s just going into the back pocket of some fat cat makes the whole system ridiculous though. It really needs sorting out ASAP – imagine what the NHS could achieve if all that extra money went directly to them rather than to someone else. Stupid.
If you’re having trouble with parking fines or fees, check out this genius website that will help you appeal easily.