Hospital parking fees debate: Halfon and Haldenby

Reform Director Andrew Haldenby argued in favour of NHS car parking charges on the BBC’s Daily Politics on 8 July.

Robert Halfon MP said that hospital car parking fees have become a stealth tax, imposing an unfair cost on individual patients needing treatment.

Andrew argued that NHS hospitals should operate exemptions for patients in particular need, but that nevertheless the principle of charges is right. He said that charges were the price of access to charging, since without charges, NHS car parks would fill up with other users. He argued that the issue is similar to charging for other NHS services:

“To me it’s the same argument as prescription charges. They were introduced when they were free because people were taking too much, they were misusing the NHS resources. So a small charge was introduced. There are a tiny number of things that are charged in the NHS. But they are charged for a good reason.”

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