NHS patients and staff have saved £30 million since the SNP Government scrapped parking charges at hospitals more than eight years ago, according to new figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).
Charges have been scrapped at hospitals across Scotland with the exception of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Ninewells hospital, all of which have car parks locked into PFI long-term contracts agreed under the previous Labour/Lib Dem executive.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Charging to park at hospitals was an unnecessary and unfair financial burden on families and those needing treatment.
“Scrapping hospital parking charges reaffirms the founding principle of the NHS – that healthcare should be free at the point of use.”
Explaining the savings, SPICe added:
"Prior to the abolition of parking charges in December 2008, NHS Scotland hospitals (with the exception of three private finance initiative (PFI) run car parks) generated an estimated £3.6m of income each year from car parking charges.
"It is now 8½ years since the change in policy. If income had continued to be generated at the same level as prior to abolition of charges, then users of hospital car parks have saved around £30m."