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Abolish Car Parking Charges at Welsh Hospitals, says BMA Cymru Wales

y the back door.

Mr Jonathan Osborne - Chairman of the BMA's Joint Consultant Committee, and a consultant ENT surgeon in Glan Clwyd Hospital, Colwyn Bay said: "Car parking charges in hospitals penalise patients and staff on low incomes and communities in rural areas where there is no effective public transport. They should be abolished in Wales".

Dr Victor Aziz, a Consultant Psychiatrist said: "If we abolish prescription charges, we should also abolish car park charges and make life easy for people living in Wales".

Swansea NHS Trust last year made more than £1m from parking charges, resulting in a profit of £443,810.

Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust's income from car parking last year was more than £650,000 and car parking and clamping charges at the Royal Gwent Hospital, in Newport, where it is notoriously difficult to park, gave Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust an additional income of £466,000.

Bronglais Hospital is the only site within the Ceredigion and Mid Wales NHS Trust that charges for parking. The total income for car parking charges for 2005/2006 was £11,816.

Neither North Glamorgan NHS Trust nor Velindre NHS Trust charge patients to park on their premises.

Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust gets no money from car parking at the University Hospital of Wales: it has an agreement with car parks operator Vinci, and the company keeps all revenue from the site.

Supporting the BMA Wales/Cymru campaign, Age Concern Cymru Director, Robert Taylor, said: “Older people are amongst the highest users of hospital services so we would very much welcome any moves to reduce car parking fees.

“Public transport is not always capable of enabling older people, especially those who have difficulty in walking, to travel from their home to a hospital so they may have to rely on using a car.

“We must also remember that the majority of older people are on relatively low fixed inc
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