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

omes so it can be difficult for them to meet this extra cost when attending hospitals for treatment or to visit friends and relatives.”

Elin Ifan, Regional Manager of ASBAH in Wales added her support: "We are delighted to support the BMA's campaign to abolish parking charges for patients attending Welsh hospitals.

"In partnership with the Family Fund, we recently distributed the Family Fund's transport survey questionnaire to parents of children under 16 years of age. The answers are very telling of the stress caused to, and the costs incurred by, parents when travelling to and from hospitals. Car parking costs are mentioned, but also the wider issues were raised such as loss of earnings, and care of siblings while the parents are with the child in hospital.

"One of our families said : "Paying to park at hospitals is appalling. We have been travelling to hospitals 50 plus miles away, at least 4 to 6 times a year for six years."

Should the BMA be successful in their campaign to abolish parking fees in Welsh Hospitals, I think it would be equitable if patients travelling outside Wales for treatment (e.g. North Wales patients travel to Liverpool for tertiary services; Mid-Wales patients travel to Birmingham and Manchester, and some from south Wales travel to Frenchay, Bristol, and Great Ormond Street, London) be issued with some sort of permit/ voucher to cover their parking costs.

Peter Cardy, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Chief Executive, says: "Missing an appointment is not an option for cancer patients – they have no choice but to pay for travel and parking, which amounts to a stealth tax on illness.

"Due to the nature of cancer, patients have to make multiple hospital trips for potentially life-saving treatment and costs can add up – in fact Macmillan’s new research showed patients make an average of 53 trips to hospital. Often patients have to make lengthy and costly visits to specialist treat
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