Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has welcomed the reintroduction of free car parking for health and social care staff at hospitals and Trust facilities, but has called on the Health Minister to end hospital parking charges permanently.
The Sinn Féin health spokesperson said:
I welcome today’s announcement of the reintroduction of free car parking for health and social care staff at hospitals and Trust facilities as they carry out tremendous work to save lives and keep people safe during this pandemic.
“However hospital car parking charges, which amounts to a cut to workers pay, needs to end permanently.
“Health care staff have been dealing with huge pressures in the system for years even prior COVID-19 and they should not have to face what are sometimes considerable daily parking charges just to provide vital frontline services to the public.
“Hospital parking charges also place a considerable burden on the most vulnerable such as those with serious health conditions, their families and carers who frequently attend hospital for their treatments.
“Parking charges also place an unfair burden on patients and health workers from rural areas who live considerable distances from hospitals and who have very limited access to public transport to get to hospital.
“My Sinn Féin colleague MLA for West Belfast Fra McCann is bringing forward a Private Members Bill to abolish hospital charges across the north.
“This is an important step forward in supporting our health care workers and protecting our most vulnerable from the unfair financial burden of parking charges.”